Explore Nature ...

Nature is everywhere … Enhance your understanding of the plants, insects, animals & complex interactions by reading about the ORCA & other natural areas.

Milkweeds = Monarchs

Migratory monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are beloved.  Milkweed (Asclepias.sp.) is their larval food, so planting milkweeds is encouraged. 22 species of milkweed occur in Florida (and in different habitats). Pictured above is scarlet milkweed (Asclepais curassavica), also known as bloodlfower,…

Range Expansion

Mary Ester and George Bollis (Class of 2020) visited T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area located on the east side of the St. Johns River in southern Brevard County.  There they photographed Virginia saltmarsh mallow (Kosteletzyka pentacarpos), which we see at the…

Heliotropium

Seaside heliotrope (Heliotropium cuvassivicum), shown above at the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail on July 15, 2020, is an occasional succulent of moist salty spots in Indian River County.  Its native range extends through much of the Americas from Canada to…

Gorgeous Gentian

Getting to see the gorgeous flowers of marsh gentian (Eustoma exaltatum) is always a delight.  Its many common names — catchfly prairie-gentian, bluebell gentian, seaside gentian, blue marsh lily, small bluebell, and tulip gentian — belie its curious and extensive…