Showing posts from June, 2021

Loret Thatcher obituary

Loret Thatcher aka Loret Setters was a transplant from New York and one of the first things she did to learn about our Florida native plants was to join the Florida Native Plant Society Pine Lily Chapter. She joined with great determination, enthusiasm, passion and eagerness to learn. She began as Pine Lily’s newsletter editor. She went on to do an amazing job with publicity. She started a blog called “What Florida Native Plant Is Blooming Today?” chronicling what was blooming in her own small yard. This was followed by “Tales of a Central Florida Wildlife Garden” and “Central Florida Critter of the Day”. All of them wildly successful and followed by people around the world. In addition, she was a member of two team blogs: Beautiful Wildlife Gardens and Native Plant & Wildlife Gardens along with top garden writers around the country. Her excellent photography of native plants, butterflies, and insects have been everywhere including Alabama Butterfly Atlas, Earth and Space News, The

Tropical Milkweed is Harmful to Monarchs & Florida Ecosystem

By Lilly Anderson-Messec The red and yellow blooms of tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica , are ubiquitous in Florida butterfly gardens. This non-native milkweed has exploded in popularity as demand for milkweed grows to support declining monarch butterfly populations. This tropical species is native to Mexico and very easy to propagate, so growers are able to quickly produce plant material to meet the milkweed demand. It’s also very showy, blooming prolifically all season and regrowing quickly after being decimated by hungry caterpillars.  Unfortunately, tropical milkweed has been an increasingly invasive species in Central and South Florida for many years, and has begun spreading in North Florida as well. It’s fast growth and prolific re-seeding have resulted in large monocultures of tropical milkweed in natural areas. This unchecked growth replaces native plants and disrupts the native ecosystems that both wildlife and humans rely on. The invasive quality of this plant is is j