Floral Beauty in Eye of Beholder

Florida privet (Forestiera segregata) is flowering again.  Wild olive is another name for this sturdy native plant often found volunteering along mosquito impoundment dikes and in the midst of ornamental hedges underneath places where birds perch.  Birds seem to love the tiny blue-black fruits that give rise to another common name for this plant, wild olive.

To humans, its flowers are inconspicuous and insignificant, even though all or many of the leaves have fallen from the plant.  Insects see things differently, and pollinators “flock” to this plant …

Folks in the 2018 FMEL Volunteer Nature Stewardship class enjoyed seeing a zebra longing butterfly (Heliconius charitonia), our Florida state butterfly, nectaring on its yellow-green flower during February when nectar sources are not very abundant.  The beauty of its inconspicuous flower is shown below in a closeup taken and shared by Wildlife Photographer Bob Montanaro

Fresh leaves return once (or even as) flowering finishes …

Fruits form soon thereafter and ripen to be blue-black …

Be on the look-out for this bird-borne plant in a variety of venues.  Look for our Florida state butterfly in or near shady places.

%d bloggers like this: