Category: Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardening

Rare & Unusual Tropical Trees & Plants, Flowering, Fruit, Native, Palm, Bamboo, Heliconia, Hummingbird, Butterfly

Native Florida Coffee Species (Psychotria ligustrifolia, P. nervosa, P. sulzneri)

Since 1958, grower Juan Valdez and his mule, Conchita, have been employed to put us in mind of some of the best coffee in the world.  These fictional characters have left an indelible impression on generations of consumers.  And right now you might be thinking how nice it would be to stroll through lush fields of coffee in Colombia. …
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February 9, 2013 0

Bauhinia blakeana (Hong Kong Orchid Tree)

Many botanists believe this tree is a hybrid between Bauhinia variegata and B. purpurea, and not a true species as its botanical name implies. The tree is sterile, so it does not produce seedpods and seeds.  This makes it an ideal Bauhinia, unlike many other Bauhinias which are invasive.   An individual tree was discovered in 1880 growing at a monastery in…
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December 15, 2012 0

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) is the largest butterfly occurring in the United States, with a wingspan that can reach 6″.  The larvae are sometimes called ‘Orange Dogs’ due to their host plants being members of the Citrus (Rutaceae) family.  They also feed on noncommercial members of this family, including a Florida native, Wild Lime…
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September 23, 2012 0

Cycads

If you are only passingly familiar with cycads, you’re missing out on one of the most ancient and interesting representatives of the plant kingdom.  The first cycads arose somewhere around 280 million years ago, but came into their own in the Jurassic Period, the same time dinosaurs began to dominate, roughly 200 to 145 million years ago.  But you can’t say that’s when cycads really flowered, because they’re…
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September 15, 2012 0

The Atala Butterfly

This is an interesting article from the University of Florida about the relationship between the Atala butterfly and its host plant, Florida Coontie http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg347.  At the nursery we have a population of the Atala Butterflies, and the adults can be seen landing on the Sweet Almond flowers (Aloysia virgata) and Florida Fiddlewood flowers (Citharexylum spinosum) for nectar,…
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August 4, 2012 0