In this Issue:
  • 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
  • Love Blueberries? Thank the Blueberry Bee!
  • Native Shrub Option for Sandy Soils
  • Scary Things are Happening in Our Landscapes this Halloween
  • Beneficials

    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/

    Love Blueberries? Thank the Blueberry Bee!

    This time of year, blueberry bushes are flowering and small fruit are coming onto the wild and cultivated bushes in north Florida. Many of us, myself included, look forward to the late-spring harvest of blueberries, taking our children out to u-pick operations and digging out family recipes for blueberry-filled desserts. What many do not know, however, …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/05/01/love-blueberries-thank-the-blueberry-bee/

    Native Shrub Option for Sandy Soils

    We often talk about sandy, nutrient poor soil in Florida and how difficult it is for growing many favorite landscape plants. Gardeners may spend considerable time and money amending soils with organic matter to improve quality. The low maintenance approach is to embrace your sandy soil and consider plants that thrive in sandy, well-drained soil. …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2017/03/30/native-shrub-option-for-sandy-soils/

    Scary Things are Happening in Our Landscapes this Halloween

    The reality of what happens deep down in the darkness of a fire ant mound hidden to human eyes or in the tunnels of a mole cricket where only creepy crawly things dare to enter may be too scary to believe.  University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences along with USDA introduced a …

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    Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2016/10/26/scary-things-are-happening-in-our-landscapes-this-halloween/

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