Effect of Systemic Use for Commercial Nursery Propagation of Asclepias currasavica on Monarch Larvae

People who buy milkweed plants (most commonly Tropical milkweed [Asclepias curassavica]) from big box stores such as Lowes and Home Depot to feed monarch larvae frequently report that their larvae often die after feeding on the purchased plants. This is likely due to the plants being treated with topical or systemic insecticides. However, detailed information concerning the exact chemicals used and their potential impact on monarch larval mortality is poorly understood. This study sought to provide information on insecticides and larval mortality.

Foundation awards 11 Viva Florida grants

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grants. Eleven grants were awarded for the following projects: Depot Park, Sopchoppy; Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers; Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville; Lake David Park, Groveland; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota; Miami Dade College, Miami; Orange County Administration Building, Orlando; University of Florida Natural Areas Teaching Lab, Gainesville; Village Institute for Sustainable Technologies and Agriculture, Tampa; and West Oaks Library, Ocoee.

Steven Miller

Member profile: Steven Miller

Get to know new Florida Wildflower Foundation member Steven Miller. Steven, founder of a wedding photography company based in Central Florida, incorporates native plants into his business! When he is not taking pictures of people professionally, he is usually snapping pictures of the natural world or filling up his yard with wildflowers.

white flowers and pink flower buds of swamp milkweed

Flower Friday: Swamp milkweed

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias perennis) is an erect, herbaceous perennial wildflower that occurs naturally in floodplain swamps, marshes and wet ditches, and along riverbanks. It typically blooms in late spring through early fall and attracts many pollinators. Like all members of the Asclepias genus, it is a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen and Soldier butterflies. The plant contains a milky latex that is toxic to most animals, but Monarch, Queen and Soldier caterpillars are adapted to feed on them despite the chemical defense. The flowers are an important nectar source for native bees, wasps and butterflies.

Savannah milkweed's greenish-yellow, urn-shaped flowers

Flower Friday: Savannah milkweed

With its diminutive stature and greenish-yellow flowers, Savannah milkweed (Asclepias pedicellata) is oft overlooked in its native pineland and prairie habitats. It blooms late spring through fall, peaking in summer. Its flowers are attractive to bees, wasps and butterflies. Like all members of the Asclepias genus, Savannah milkweed is a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen and Soldier butterflies. The plant contains a milky latex that is toxic to most animals, but Monarch, Queen and Soldier caterpillars are adapted to feed on them despite the chemical defense.

Weber_member profile

Member profile: Jeff Weber

Get to know Florida Wildflower Foundation member Jeff Weber. Jeff is dedicated to protecting and restoring Florida’s natural ecology in his career and in his free time. As an environmental specialist with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, Jeff manages natural areas of the county. As a member of Florida Wildflower Foundation, he regularly attends field trips and events to connect with others who share a passion for wild Florida. As a homeowner, Jeff does his part to plant as much native vegetation as he can!

Monarch on Butterflymilkweed flowers

FDOT Wildflower Program: Pollinators

This page is hosted by the Florida Wildflower Foundation as a courtesy to the Florida Department of Transportation. Photo by Peg Urban HOMEHISTORYPROCEDUREPHOTOSCONTACTS Pathways for Pollinators The decline of honey bees and Monarch butterflies over recent years has brought the issue of pollinators to the forefront of roadside management. Pollinators’ importance to Florida agriculture and…

wildflower meadow at Orange County IFAS Extenstion

Foundation awards 5 Viva Florida grants

The Florida Wildflower Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Viva Florida Landscape Demonstration Garden grants. Five grants were awarded for the following projects: Cutting Horse Eco-Center, Bonita Springs (Lee County); Folly Farm Nature Preserve, Safety Harbor (Pinellas County); Orange County UF/IFAS Extension, Orlando; Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens (St. Lucie County); and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (Lee County).

Queen butterfly on Swamp milkweed, Asclepias perennis

Know your native pollinators: Queen butterfly

In the same genus as Monarchs, Queen butterflies share many characteristics with their royal cousins. Queens and Monarchs are similar in appearance, rely on milkweed as a host plant and carry a toxin from milkweed in their bodies into adulthood. Queens do not participate in the same migration as Monarchs, however, and have distinguishing physical differences.