Common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) on purple thistle (Cirsium horridulum) Photo by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Bumble bees

Bumble bees are very efficient pollinators because they “buzz pollinate.” The bee grabs onto a flower and vibrates its flight muscles but not its wings. This causes the flower to release its pollen. It also creates an audible buzz at the frequency of a middle C note. The genus name Bombus comes from the Greek bombos, which means “buzzing sound.”

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Know your native pollinators: Cuckoo bees

Cuckoo bees are often mistaken for wasps because their body shape resembles a wasp, and they are nearly hairless. They also lack the pollen baskets that most bees have on their legs because they do not collect pollen for their young.

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Welcome Baker’s tickseed

Welcome Baker’s tickseed, a new Florida wildflower species! by Claudia Larsen. Photo by Dr. Edward Schilling, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Follow this plant’s journey from discovery to naming Recently discovered in North Florida’s Jackson County, Coreopsis bakeri has gone undetected for years because of its resemblance to our common…

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Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) on Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)

Know your native pollinators: Carpenter bees

Many Floridians become familiar with carpenter bees by accident. They may notice a hole that appears to have been drilled into unpainted wood around their homes with a sawdust pile beneath it. Or they might hear a buzzing sound coming from within the hole. Both are telltale signs of carpenter bees.

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Chris delivers his pollinator pots to FWF staff.

Create a pollinator garden in a pot!

Chris Waltz, volunteer extraordinaire and wildflower-gardening enthusiast, was inspired by people saying they can’t grow natives because they live in an apartment, condo, or other small space. He started thinking: They grow houseplants and annuals; why can’t they grow natives the same way? The result? A “pollinator garden in a pot.”

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Pinellas garden demonstrates beauty, variety of natives

More than 38,000 visitors have had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the beauty and benefit of Florida’s native wildflowers since the establishment of a wildflower demonstration garden at the Pinellas County UF/IFAS Extension in Largo. The garden was funded by a $3,000 grant from the Florida Wildflower Foundation.

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Upcoming events

2018 symposium

Join us Friday and Saturday at the Florida Wildflower Symposium

Want to learn about Florida’s native wildflowers and the butterflies, bees and wildlife depending on them? Join us at the Florida Wildflower Symposium on April 27 and 28 in Orlando to learn from expert speakers and workshop leaders. Visit the symposium page to learn more. Online registration is closed, but you can register onsite Friday and Saturday. Cost is $45 for Florida Wildflower Foundation members and $60 for nonmembers.

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2018 symposium

Apr. 27-28 Florida Wildflower Symposium

Registration is now open for the Florida Wildflower Symposium (rescheduled from September due to Hurricane Irma). Join us on April 27–28, 2018 at the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension on South Conway Road in Orlando for two days of field trips, hands-on workshops, educational presentations and more!

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March 24 Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival

Join us — rain or shine — for the Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival, Saturday, March 24, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. This free, family-friendly event offers speakers, demonstrations, plant and gardening supply vendors, a Kids Art Zone, music and more.

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Click here to see a full list of events including past events.

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Dr. Walter Taylor

Dr. Walter Taylor presents at the 2014 Florida Wildflower Symposium.