Be in the know about pollinators

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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White-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata) by Ronnie Pitman (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Know your native pollinators: White-lined sphinx moth

White-line sphinx moths can be found throughout the world, but are especially common in North America. They live in habitats ranging from desert to tropics and will forage on a wide variety of flowers. Their long tongues make them well-adapted to sip nectar from long, tubular blooms, and they are common visitors of night blooming flowers.

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Tachinid fly by Jonnie Dietz

Know your native pollinators: Tachinid flies

With over 1,300 species in North America alone, Tachinid flies are an extremely diverse group, yet they are often overlooked. Once you spot one, however, you’re likely to start recognizing them everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled on both flowers and foliage for these hairy pollinators. Tachinid fly larvae are known parasitoids of many nuisance bugs. How they enter their hosts varies, but once inside, all tachinid larvae begin to consume their host internally. This may sound like a Halloween horror story, but Tachinid larvae are great at keeping garden pests in check.

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Goldenrod soldier beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) by Katja Schulz CCBY2.0

Know your native pollinators: Goldenrod soldier beetle

Goldenrod soldier beetles (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) are pollinators and predators of pesky garden pests. They are found throughout Florida and most of the United States. Their populations peak in late summer and early fall, perfectly timed with the bloom of goldenrod. These common beetles prefer sunny spots with rich nectar sources, such as gardens, fields and roadsides.

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Zebra longwing (Heliconius charithonia) by Ryan Fessenden

Know your native pollinators: Zebra longwings

Zebra longwing butterflies (Heliconius charitonia) are found throughout the state, but this common Florida butterfly is anything but ordinary! Their elongated wings make them easy to distinguish from other Florida natives, but their unique attributes don’t stop there.

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Hibiscus bee (Ptilothrix bombiformis) by Jonathan Bremer

Know your native pollinators: Chimney bees

Chimney bees like the Mustached mud and Hibiscus bees are solitary ground nesters that have serious architectural talent! Both bees superficially resemble bumblebees in appearance. They’re fast flying, robust bees with dense yellow hairs on their thorax. (Hibiscus bees also have yellow hairs on their face.)

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More buzz about pollinators

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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bee-partridge-pea

Bring native bees to your landscape

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! More than 100 crops are dependent on insect pollination, resulting in an economic value…

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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