Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Around here, we like tough plants. Preferably ones that could grow at the apex of a sand dune while being completely repugnant to deer.

Lantana seems to fit that description. Once established, it survives on minimal water and never once have the deer eaten it ... unlike the yellow shrimp plants I bought last week.

Lantana comes in lots of colors, thanks to the plant breeders, but some varieties seem to have lost their toughness in pursuit of different color petals.

I like the yellow variety for it's indestructibility, profusion of blossoms, and ... well ... it's yellowness.
It must be a great nectar source as it fairly shimmers with butterfly activity this time of year.

Here's a Big-eyed Fuzzball.

And an Orange Spotted Blue Butt sporting the winning team's colors.

A Whystopattwo False-Eyespot butterfly intently sipping away.

A survivor from the Nymph-O-Mania of a few weeks ago when every flower stem was covered with baby grasshoppers.

My favorite butterfly, the Gulf FrittahowDOyoupronouncethatlastname.

It's possible that some of these common names may be different in your region.

That's why we have those fancy Latin scientific names.


Rurality said...

I see you have perfected the art of butterfly whispering. We had a lot of freshly-emerged looking butterflies around here over the weekend, but not one would pose for me, mean old bugs.

Meems said...

Have to say I like the names of your butterflies- wow - you should write your own book. HA Great shots of all of them! I am so excited about all the winged activity right now but around here they don't seem so willing to cooperate for photos.

I agree the lantanas are a perfect choice for vibrant color, drought conditions and grow-just-about-anywhere flowers. I have every color of them and they do have different habits according to color.

Is your grasshopper an Eastern Lubber? I hate those things. Is it okay to say that? I've been restraining with every fiber of my gardening-being not to blast them with chemicals around here... still picking them off on my daily seek and destroy missions.
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Sharon said...

And meanwhile here I am, running around like a Florida-Cracker-chicken with an old Florida-Cracker-Lab chasing me, looking up all those fancy scientific butterfly names and the whole time I should have just come here. I like your names MUCH better than the ones I found! ;o)

Beautiful shots as always, and you never fail to enlighten and entertain me at the same time. :-)

Laura said...

I liked the orange spotted bluebutt, also known as a Flying Tebow round these parts.
The brown fuzzball is also known as a florida nole. ;)
Actually, I never thought of naming them this way and I like your descriptions better!
I think Sharon will have to help us out here when it comes to their formal scientific names, but either way, we'll always appreciate them solely for their winged beauty!

Anonymous said...

Does the yellow Lantana get all leggy and HUGE like it's wild brethren?
I thought I liked Lantana until I moved to this house and had it 8 feet tall all up in the oaks, fighting with the grape vines. Couldn't even go into the backyard without a machete.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a post about a Vegas detective who lived at the Desert Inn in the late 70's, but I don't see any pics of him here.
The Glargine plants do come in an amazing range of yellows, oranges and brick colors which have never failed after some gazzilion years despite being repeatedly massaged by tortoise shells. My plants only attract the Lepidoptera Icantseeitfromhere. I'll keep checking though!

Stacy said...

Nice work on the butterfly names, "Whystopattwo False-Eyespot butterfly" is ever so more lyrical than "common buckeye." :)

I had the same problem with lantana as cinnamonbite did. It even scared the honeysuckle! So we yanked it out and replaced with butterfly bush, which is clearly a mis-named plant, as it hasn't yet attracted one of the buggers.

Susan said...

I LOVE Lantana! "Miss Huff," an old and hardy variety, is my favorite, with the pink, yellow, orange and sunset blends, all on one bush. These die to the ground each winter here in central GA, but they grow back to six feet every summer. They do best in sandy soil.

Lantana blooms draw hummingbirds, and also a variety of bees and butterflies. These bugs in turn draw the Carolina Wrens and Summer Tanagers who eat them. Then the bird activity attracts an occasional Black Racer.

These plants are a joy to have in my yard.

Dr. Know said...

Great pictures, but your naming convention could use some work...
Or not.
I would list the common and Latin names, but I suspect you already know what they are.

SophieMae said...

I have a love-hate thing going on with lantana. It IS a butterfly magnet. But I grew up in the orange groves and the noxious weed was everywhere. You can't kill the stuff, it's poisonous and smells bad. But it IS a butterfly magnet. For years, I refused to allow it on the property, but DS finally wore me down.

Re GUMBO... c'est bon!

SophieMae said...

Oh, almost forgot... I have some fishy pics (starting Sunday) if you have time for some ID's. I can remember some, but the grey matter gets a bit tangled after a while. 8-}

kathy a. said...

i don't like how lantana smells, really, but the little neglected patch of front yard needs a hardy, low-water, colorful filler. once i get the weeds out. we're on water rationing this summer. sigh.

Leslie said...

LOVE your butterfly names. We name birds in a similar fashion, based on their calls. There's the SwingSet bird (sounds like a squeaky swingset creaking), the WaterDrop bird (cowbird?), and others.

Deb said...

I like your common names. They are so honest!

Any butterfly that can manage to survive here is just a toughenuff.

Floridacracker said...

I thought Alabama bugs would be genteel and polite.

Yes, a lubber. I think we are in for it this summer, there are so many babies.

Thanks. There are just too darn many insects for my brain capacity.

Common names are the names given by the common folk and that would be me, so why not?

It seems to grow in a nice rounded mound. So far not encroaching anywhere.

Get closer.

Aha! So that is a buckeye ... kind of a short name doncha think?

One thing leads to another,huh?
I've yet to catch hummers using my lantana, but I'll keep looking.

Yes, I know their real common names, but common names vary from village to village, so ...

Looking forward to your fish pics!

Kathy A,
I've seen this stuff growing in the harshest beachside sandy conditions. It's tough.

I like it, ... waterdrop bird has a nice ring to it.

Definitely after the winter you just went through!!

Doug Taron said...

I found the skipper to be a tough call. It's partof a group that here in the north are called the three witches- nondescript dark brown skioppers with few marks. I think it's a little glassywing (Pompeius verna), but I'm not making that ID with a lot of confidence. On pronouncing of fritillary. Growing up in MA, we always said fri-TILL-uh-ree. When I moved to the Midwest, all the cool entomologists were saying FRIT-uh-lair-ee, so I did to. It stuck. I still hear both used. ANd landtana is a great nectar source. We use lots of it in the butterfly exhibit.

Mike said...

Finally, someone applies common sense to the common names of butterflies. Let me know when you start on birds!

Anonymous said...

We are big fans here of the indestructables as well, Fc. Our favorite lantana is BRIGHT orange and red. It's almost neon.

The skipper photo is aces by the way. They are HARD to get a good photo of because they can be so darned wary.

Down here, it's FRITillary.

Unknown said...

Okay if you go to a Walmart with a decent craft and sewing section you can find a great lap blanket embroidery piece with nine actual real butterflies on it.

I did - and bought it for my partner who is busy stiching away even as I type. Meanwhile this month while helping out the Spring Hill Heritage Poultry Conservatory - I do their social media, marketing and PR - which includes washing, drying and taking chickens to the fair and back again like a hobbit - well if the hobbit was going to The Florida State Fair and not Rivendale - oh yes there was a whole different sentence happening here -
While visiting the farm over the this summer we've discovered the Zebra butterflies roosting in groups in the Spanish moss around the groove of wild native Florida Passion fruit vines.
Soo yeah then we noticed butterflies seem to be in an abundance on the farm this year - maybe from the lushness - due to all the rain?
Any way stumbled on this post - trying to check out what you called "Florida Cracker Chickens."

Yours in Floridiana