Be in the know about pollinators

Create a Pollinator Pot

The insects that pollinate our food crops and natural areas are in steep decline. Our suburban landscapes are more important than ever in supporting them. No place for a garden? No problem! Our new video and handout can help you create a small pollinator oasis in a pot!

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Eumaeus atala by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Atala

Florida once teemed with Atala butterflies but overharvesting of the Atala’s host plant Coontie caused a drastic decline in butterfly populations. During the mid-20th century Atalas were thought to be extinct. Now populations are rebounding thanks to the high demand for Coontie in native landscaping. Atalas are lovely hairstreak butterflies with velvety black wings that shine with an iridescent aquamarine. The underside of their wings displays three rows of small aquamarine dots and a larger reddish orange spot on the hindwing.

 

 

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CeraunusBlueButterfly (Hemiargus ceraunus) by Mary Keim

Know your native pollinators: Ceraunus blue

Ceraunus blue butterflies, found in the gossamer-winged family, fly in southern Florida throughout the year. The common name of these small butterflies comes from the violet blue of the male’s dorsal side. Females have a smaller amount of blue which is located on their dorsal side at the base of their wings. The larval hosts of the Ceraunus blue are plants in the Fabaceae family.

 

 

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White peacock butterfly

Know your native pollinators: White peacock

White peacock butterflies, found in the brush-footed family, fly in Florida throughout the year. They are small white butterflies with brown markings and orange margins. The common name of the White peacock comes from black spots on the forewings and hindwings, giving the appearance of a peacock’s eyespot. You might notice these lovely winged friends flying close to the ground searching for Turkey-tangle frogfruit, which acts as both a host and nectar plant for them.

 

 

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More buzz about pollinators

Fiery skipper by Mary Keim

Happy National Pollinator Week!

This week, we salute the little things — the pollinators that do our major lifting. Why care about pollinators? Because 80 percent of our food crops depend on them, as does the health of our natural areas, which we depend on for…

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bee boxes

Making a home for native bees

It is more important than ever to make a home for native bees in Florida’s landscapes. Bee expert Dr. Rachel Mallinger of the University of Florida gives tips on the best ways to welcome them to urban landscapes.

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Xerces milkweeds conservation guide cover

Review of Xerces Society’s Milkweed Guide

Many of us are aware of the monarch’s population decline that has been well documented by researchers. Weather, habitat destruction of overwintering grounds in California and Mexico, and loss of food source on migration routes have caused great concern in the last…

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Bee tower

Bringing the buzz back to your garden

In the last decade or so, honey bee populations worldwide have significantly diminished due to unknown causes. Less known is the fact that native bee populations in North America are also in decline. As more rural and wild landscape becomes suburban and…

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Monarch on Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata

Are non-native milkweeds killing monarch butterflies?

Tropical milkweed can enable monarchs to continue breeding well into fall and winter, causing populations to persist longer in certain areas than they naturally would. Unfortunately, this can foster higher than normal infection rates by a lethal protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE).…

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Resources for protecting pollinators

20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers

20 Easy Wildflowers This 24-page publication features 20 readily available Florida native wildflowers and how to use and care for them in landscapes. There is information on the bees and butterflies that they attract, too. Download a PDF or order an individual copy.

Monarchs and Milkweed

Learn about Monarch butterflies and the Florida native milkweed they require as host plants for their caterpillars. The publication features cautions about the use of non-native Tropical milkweed. Visit the web page or download the PDF.

Guide for Choosing Native Wildflowers and Plants

Wildflowers, naturally! plant selection guide The guide features 70 Florida native wildflowers, shrubs, vines and grasses for landscape use. Its helpful key gives quick and easy information on each species’ hardiness zone and soil and light requirements. Bloom color and season, and information on pollinators is also included. Download the PDF.

Florida Wildflowers and Butterflies

This beautiful color brochure features Florida’s common butterflies on one side and their native wildflower host and nectar plants on the other. Download the PDF.

Need publications for a group or event? Order them now.

“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.”
— Robert A. Heinlen