In this Issue:
  • Web Art in the Woods
  • Let That Digger Bee Be
  • Protecting Our Pollinators in the Landscape
  • Ethnobotany: Where History and Medicine Meet the Forest
  • The Predatory Praying Mantis
  • African Blue Basil: A Pollinator Favorite
  • Celebrating and Attracting Pollinators
  • Butterfly Gardening
  • My Tree Has Tumors
  • Benefit from Beneficial Insects
  • Beneficials

    Web Art in the Woods

    With cool, foggy mornings you may have noticed the large number of spider webs hanging on low vegetation. Some of them have unusual shapes.  One of the most notable is the bowl and doily spider.  This spider (Frontinella pyramitela) is a species of sheet web weavers found throughout the United States, including Northwest Florida. It …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2018/04/23/web-art-in-the-woods/

    Let That Digger Bee Be

    Have you noticed many little dirt piles that resemble mini ant mounds around your yard? Well, fear not, for these mini mounds are made by digger bees who are excellent, yet ephemeral, early-spring pollinators. These solitary ground-nesters are native to our area and only appear for four to six weeks to raise their offspring. Although …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2018/03/26/let-that-digger-bee-be/

    Protecting Our Pollinators in the Landscape

    Bees, butterflies and other insects play important roles as pollinators in our environment. Over 50 major crops in the United States and at least 13 crops in Florida depend on honey bees. Many native plants in natural areas also depend on insect pollinators for reproduction. In Florida, over 300 bee species play a role in …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2018/03/21/protecting-our-pollinators-in-the-landscape/

    Ethnobotany: Where History and Medicine Meet the Forest

    Ethnobotany lies at the intersection of culture, medicine, and mythology. The “witch doctors” and voodoo practitioners, the followers of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, and the wise elders of ancient Chinese civilizations are all ethnobotanists. So, too, are the modern day field biologists who discover and develop medicinal plants into an estimated half of our …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/08/11/ethnobotany-where-history-and-medicine-meet-the-forest/

    The Predatory Praying Mantis

      Summertime is bug time in the Florid Panhandle.  The weather has provided enough rain for the bugs which depend on a supply of foliage and the temperatures have been ideal for a population explosion. Stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, grasshoppers, all sizes and colors of caterpillars and many more have been enjoying the lush and …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/14/the-predatory-praying-mantis/

    African Blue Basil: A Pollinator Favorite

    Basil is a favorite plant in the summer herb garden and an absolute must for those who enjoy fresh leaves for a sandwich or delicious homemade pesto. While we grow basils as a food enhancer, an added benefit is that those basil selections that form flowers are very attractive to pollinators.  If you would rather not …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/07/05/african-blue-basil-a-pollinator-favorite/

    Celebrating and Attracting Pollinators

    Unfortunately, reports from the National Research Council say that the long-term population trends for some North American pollinators are “demonstrably downward”. Ten years ago the U.S. Senate unanimously approved and designated “National Pollinator Week” to help raise awareness.  National Pollinator Week (June 19-25, 2017) is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/06/22/celebrating-and-attracting-pollinators/

    Butterfly Gardening

    Have you been thinking about creating a butterfly garden but don’t know where to start? Afraid it’s too much upkeep or has to look wild and untamed? Spend a Saturday morning with the UF/IFAS Master Gardeners of Bay County to see how to design, install, and maintain a colorful low maintenance butterfly garden. Next Saturday, …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/26/butterfly-gardening/

    My Tree Has Tumors

    As oak trees are now fully leafing out and people start hanging out in the shade of the canopy, many of you are noticing strange growths on the branches. They look like potatoes, spiky cones and fuzz balls on the leaves and stems.  Don’t worry.  It’s just a harmless wasp that chose that tree to …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/25/my-tree-has-tumors/

    Benefit from Beneficial Insects

    A number of summers ago, I noticed whiteflies on a confederate rose plant in my landscape. I considered using an insecticide to control the whiteflies but decided against doing so after taking a closer look. What I found was a population of ladybugs – eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Ladybug adults and larvae eat whiteflies, …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/11/benefit-from-beneficial-insects/

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