White peacock butterfly Pipevine swallowtail on Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa Queen butterfly on Swamp milkweed, Asclepias perennis Ruby-throated hummingbird Phaon crescent on frogfruit Delaware skipper on thistle Cloudless sulphur on thistle Silver-spotted skipper Gulf fritillary on Elliott's aster, Symphyotrichum elliottii Oak hairstreak butterfly, Satyrium favonius

Be in the know about pollinators

Chris Waltz with pollinator pots

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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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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Pipevine swallowtail on Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Know your native pollinators: Pipevine swallowtail

This charming swallowtail butterfly is easily distinguishable by the iridescent blue shimmer glowing from the hindwing when wings are open, and the orange spots and blue background on the hindwing when the wings are closed. Wings are black aside from these splashes of color.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Ruby-throated hummingbird

Know your native pollinators: Ruby-throated hummingbird

Bees and butterflies are not our only important pollinators. Hummingbirds play an essential role in dispersing pollen as well. The ruby-throated hummingbird, the most commonly found hummingbird in the eastern United States, is attracted to orange or red tubular flowers.

 

 

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More buzz about pollinators

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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Bumblebee on Partridge pea

Celebrate native bees and other pollinators

Do you enjoy juicy watermelons, local blueberries and strawberries and fresh Florida orange juice? How about carrots, broccoli, almonds and apples? If you do, please thank an insect, especially during National Pollinator Week, June 17-23. Learn more about our pollinators – especially…

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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 WildflowersThis 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 guideThe 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