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Tag Archives: butterflies

More Notable South Florida Butterflies

Buckeye Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There are other notable butterflies we have here in South Florida, and I would like to tell you about one of my favorites — the Buckeye butterfly. A medium-size Florida butterfly, the Buckeye has several eye spots on both fore and hind wings of this very colorful butterfly. These are usually large round spots on the wings that make the butterfly seem much larger than it really is to scare away predators. The Buckeye has a tendency to stay low to the ground and perch in the sun for hours on end, watching for any ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida: The Heliconia Trio

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com This is the second installment in my 10-part series on Butterfly Gardening in Florida. This time we’re going to focus on the Heliconia genus of butterflies, which includes the Zebra Longwing (Zebra), Florida’s state butterfly; the Julia; and the Gulf Fritillary. Let’s begin with the Zebra butterfly, also known as the social butterfly. It travels great distances during the day for néctar, but always returns to the same place at night to roost. Zebras commonly roost together in large numbers, which is why they’re nicknamed social butterflies. While hanging motionless, they are vulnerable. To discourage ... Read More »

Hummingbirds Return in the Winter

Firebush – number two nectar plant. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Years ago when I began my quest to attract butterflies to my garden, little did I know that butterfly gardening came with a bonus? After years of removing turf grass from my yard and replacing it with colorful flowering plants to attract wildlife— particularly butterflies — I no longer have any grass left to mow. During the past couple of fall seasons, I’ve been seeing numerous hummingbirds competing for nectar with our year-round friends, the butterflies. This is such a great thrill! It started a few years ago, with one or two hummingbirds arriving every ... Read More »

Florida’s Swallowtail Butterflies

Underside of Giant Swallowtail

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com My “Butterfly Gardening in Florida” series rolls on with this third installment in which I will focus on swallowtail butterflies. Florida is home to 10 swallowtail butterflies — more than any other state. They are very easy to identify due to their strikingly large size and their ability to glide long distances between wing flaps. Much larger than other Florida butterflies, most swallowtails have distinctive tails on their hind wings. I remember the first time I saw one. Actually, there were two, and they were mating. I’ll never forget it! I still thoroughly enjoy watching ... Read More »

Butterfly Gardening in Florida

Monarch butterflies. photoS BY MIKE MALLOY

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com It’s summer in Florida. It’s hot, and the butterflies are in full swing. Florida has a year-round butterfly season because of the usually warm weather, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here in Southwest Florida. Some migrate in the winter like Sulfurs (yellow butterflies) and monarchs, but many stay here and flourish. I am going to write a six-part series on the butterflies of Florida. Starting with the Monarchs — probably the most recognized butterfly in the country. Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers, all are in the Danas genius, and their ... Read More »

Succulents in South Florida

Century Plant

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com The average rain fall in South Florida is about 60 inches a year, amazing especially when it mostly arrives in just a few months of the year during our rainy season which runs from June to September. This has not stopped South Florida gardeners from creating cactus, agave and succulent gardens. The interest in these plants are on the rise in the past few years as water prices have increased and water restrictions have been implemented. Usually succulents and cacti are found in hot and sunny locations with poor soil conditions. Well, we have all ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum dicentra (Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Clerodendrum is a beautiful, flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

Butterfly Time of the Year

Zebra longwing Florida state butterfly

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com July is here. What does that mean? It’s summer in Florida? Yes, but it is also the start of the full blown butterfly season. In Southwest Florida, we have a year round butterfly season. While numbers of butterflies like Monarchs and Yellow Sulfurs will migrate, many of the same and others stay in South Florida and prosper year round, much to the delight of all those crazed butterfly enthusiasts living here. In spring, summer and fall, the numbers of these little flying flowers rise dramatically because the temperatures are warm just like they like it ... Read More »

Home Remedies, Myths or Facts?

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

PLANTTALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There is a saying that insects will inherit the earth. Well, in Florida they already have so we better just get over it. You aren’t the only one looking forward to harvest time in your flower and vegetable gardens, so are your neighbors. I’m referring to insects, of course. And, you don’t want to be hosting a veggie buffet for all the bugs in your neighborhood. Sure, there are effective pesticides that will quickly rid your garden of these hungry invaders, but before resorting to harsh chemicals, why not give some of these popular home remedies ... Read More »

The Magnificent Trees of Spring

Golden Chain Tree Flower

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Those of us who have a large piece of property and want some shade need to take these three trees into consideration. All you need to do is take a ride around any of the older neighbors in town and you will fall in love. Try 6th Street — right off of 5th Avenue in Naples — and also 4th Avenue, you’ll be happy you did. First is the royal poinciana (Delonix regia), also known as the flamboyant tree from Madagascar, and once you have seen, it you will know why. I think it is ... Read More »

Plumeria in Florida

PHOTOS BY MIKE MALLOY

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Like a beautiful butterfly emerging from a plain brown chrysalis, magnificent blossoms sprout from seemingly lifeless branches every spring. Plumeria, also known as Frangipani, are colorful tropical shrubs or small trees native to Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. They are readily available in pink, red, yellow, white and every combination in between. Plumeria are extremely popular in Hawaii, where they grow in abundance. Leis, the famous flower necklaces given to tourists upon their arrival, are made from Plumeria blossoms. Fun fact: In many Polynesian countries, women wear a blossom behind their ear ... Read More »

On the Shady Side

Shade

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com When most of the flowering plants and shrubs are struggling to thrive in the hot summer sun and waiting for the “cooling” afternoon showers, there is a group of plants that might be a little bit smarter. They thrive in the shade. Not only are these shade plants doing just fine, they are blooming. In Florida, shade takes on a different meaning than the shade “up north.” I don’t think we have the same deep shade areas in Florida as they do up north because the sun is so intense here. It’s lower in the ... Read More »

Mussaendas in Bloom

Mussaenda 'Queen Sirikit'

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Sightings of the Tropical Mussaendas are becoming more frequent in South Florida gardens. Making them colorful standouts amongst the mainly green Florida landscapes. There are over 150 varieties with only a handful seen here in South Florida landscapes. They are native Africa to Asia and are members of the coffee family (Rubiaceae). This plant also is commonly known as Tropical Dogwood. The names of the different Mussaendas were derived from the names of the First Ladies of Philippine Presidents. Mussaendas are attractive shrubs that can reach the height of 12-15 feet, but can easily keep ... Read More »

The Family and Fragrance

Clerodendrum Dicentra
(aka Bleeding Heart)

PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Clerodendrum is a beautiful flowering plant that can be found blooming and thriving all over our South Florida landscape. With more than 300 species of vines and shrubs in the genus, they are as plentiful as they are lovely. Some are grown primarily for the large, beautiful flowers that emerge in clusters. Others are wanted mostly for their fragrance. Either way, they’re a great addition to anyone’s garden. Many of the varieties can be found easily; others are rarer, and must be hunted down a bit. Finding them is part of the fun of using ... Read More »

Friends of Tigertail Ready for Day of Discovery

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Submitted On the heels of its success with “Breakfast and Birds,” Friends of Tigertail is gearing up for its next big event. “Discover Tigertail” is set for Saturday, March 1, from 10 AM-12 PM at Tigertail Beach. This will be FOT’s second event of 2014. The first — “Breakfast and Birds: Identify Our Winter Residents” — was held the morning of Jan. 11, and celebrated Tigertail Beach’s feathered friends. An impressive crowd of 62 attendees enjoyed their “bring-your-own breakfast” and coffee as Susan Kubat and Fran Huxley gave brief presentations at the Tigertail pavilion on the characteristics and feeding habits ... Read More »

Beautification Community Forum

Submitted The city of Marco Island’s Community Beautification Advisory Committee will hold a community forum on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 1-4 PM in the city’s Community Room. Several educational stations will be set up with representatives from Rookery Bay, NEER, UF/IFAS Master Gardener, UF/Collier County, Landscape Entomologist, Mobile Irrigation Lab, local landscape companies, Lee County Electric Cooperative, Beautification Advisory Committee, ISA Certified Arborist and Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island. Employees from various city departments will be on hand as well, including Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works and Utilities. Informative presentations will be given by RBNERR, Collier Soil and ... Read More »

Autumn Colors in Southwest Florida

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Fall, also known as football season, has arrived. And that means some of the best weather of the year is right around the corner for South Florida. “Chamber of Commerce” weather, as we like to call it in Naples. While our friends and relatives up north are battening down the hatches in anticipation of winter, soon we’ll be flinging open our windows and lanais. One of the best known and first-to-bloom vines this time of year in Naples is the Florida Flame Vine. Look for a blaze of brilliant orange color on Goodlette-Frank Road, just ... Read More »

HUWA!

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ARTFUL LIFE Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com Despite a widely held belief to the contrary, an artist need not be in the mood nor sublimely inspired in order to create. And neither do you. Of course, by my standards you are all artists, making the latter statement a trifle redundant (the difference between the artist’s life and the artful life is often just a matter of media.) Here’s one scene: a snow-white, ice-cold canvas stares blankly at you from a rigid easel; it’s time to work, but you have no fresh idea, you don’t have that feeling, that mood. You begin to ... Read More »

Vines of Southwest Florida

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com There are many flowering vines that do well here in Southwest Florida. You can grow them on an arbor, a trellis or a fence; you can also let them climb up one of your least favorite trees. There are three different types of vines. Climbing vines use tendrils or small roots to attach themselves. Example: Passion Vine. Twining Vines use new growth, twining upward to encircle a structure such as a tree or pole. If you want to help them along remember that they usually twine themselves counter clockwise, following the earth’s rotation. If you ... Read More »

Gardening for Honey Bees

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PLANT TALK Mike Malloy mikemalloy@naplesbutterfly.com Honey bees are more important than you think. One-third of all food consumed in the United States is pollinated by honey bees, and hundreds of crops rely on the tiny honey bee for pollination. The value of those crops is estimated at $15 billion dollars annually. Truth bee told, the future of the American agricultural industry depends on the honey bee. The demise of the honey bee is a very complex issue. Since 2006, U.S. beekeepers have seen about one-third of their honey bee colonies disappear due to Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon caused by ... Read More »