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Milkweed Madness

Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is beautiful and monarchs love it! But is it good for them?Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)Photo by Wade CollierTropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), which is native to Central American and Mexico, has become...

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Spring is in the Air!

Written by Shawn McCourt, Ph.D. Plant Records KeeperDendrobium nobile var. cooksonianum in MSBG’s greenhouse collection.When most people think of spring flowers, they tend to think daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, cherry blossoms, or azaleas, but here at Marie Selby...

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Botanical Spotlight: Red Silk Cotton Trees

Written by Shawn McCourt, Ph.D., Plant Records Keeper Some of the largest, and showiest, exotic trees planted in parks and gardens here in southwest Florida include several members of the mallow family, the Malvaceae.  Among these are the deciduous spring-blooming red...

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Help us with our local EcoFlora project!

Bioblitz Group in the field.The goal of the Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora project is to enlist the help of citizens in documenting the diversity and distribution of plants in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, utilizing the iNaturalist app and website. You don’t have to be a...

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February 2021 EcoQuest: Love Vine and Gall Wasps

Scott P. Egan, Rice UniversityLove vine on wasp gall on live oak!Love vine (Cassytha filiformis)In developing this month’s EcoQuest, Lookin’ for Love Vine, we came across the research of scientists from Rice University on the interaction between Cassytha filiformis...

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Archaeological Spotlight: Citrus Packing

Many visitors to Florida each winter ship or take back citrus for their friends and family up North. It would not be surprising if the guests at what was then the Webb Winter Resort on the Historic Spanish Point campus did the same. Evidence implies that packing...

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Botanical Spotlight: Aloe marlothii

Photo by Dave VitoloPhoto by Dave VitoloAloe marlothii (Mountain Aloe) is a beautiful succulent that displays grayish-green leaves all year long. During the winter months, it is in full bloom and at the downtown campus of Selby Gardens, visitors can find this...

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Botanical Spotlight: Rosa ‘Louis Philippe’

Photo by Aaron FinkWritten by Shawn McCourt, Ph.D. When one thinks of flowers in southwest Florida, roses seldom come to mind, yet a handful of species, hybrids, and cultivars do thrive here. One noteworthy cultivar of the China rose (Rosa chinensis) called ‘Louis...

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February 2021 EcoQuest: Lookin’ For Love VINE

 Love vine, Cassytha filiformis, is a parasitic vine native to Florida in the Lauraceae family, the same family as avocado. While the name “love vine” stems from its reputation as an aphrodisiac, this plant is anything but sweet! As a parasitic vine, it twines itself...

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