The simpson’s stoppers (Myrcinathes fragrans) that were planted in the parking lot at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation have been confused by the wettest December & January on record and the unseasonably warm temperatures. They are flowering quite profusely and attracting lots of pollinators, including the European honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the love bug (Plecia nearctica) seen above. Normally, they flower in the springtime.
Love bugs were not the result of a genetic experiment gone awry at the University of Florida as urban legend would have it. Click here to find out more about love bugs.
Love bugs sometimes are called March flies, and, usually, two generations emerge each year for about four weeks in April-May and August-September. Guess that they, too, will be early this year.
The flowers of simpson’s stopper are quite fragrant and seem especially attractive to love bugs, as well as other pollinators.