Love is In the Air in My Native Plant Garden

Last of the Valentine’s Day love series.

Dateline:  February 13, 2015*

It’s that time of year!  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day 2015, so I thought I would share the annual lovefest in my garden.  I attribute my many reproducing critters to having the host plants they need to survive. They are the native plants that grace my wildlife garden.  A different kind of love involves the predators who enjoy the prey that feed on the native plants.  You can take a look at the partnering of some native plants and insects through the eyes of Ellen Honeycutt and from my place in other past years.

So, I bring you the power of love in my garden:

>Banded Winged Dragonflies find the taller sedge next to the pond a perfect love nest
>Banded Winged Dragonflies find the taller sedge next to the pond a perfect love nest
Brown anoles show no shame on the bricks around the base of the house
Brown anoles show no shame on the bricks around the base of the house
Not to be outdone, the native green anoles take to the fence
Not to be outdone, the native green anoles take to the fence
Diptera find dry plant debris perfect
Diptera find dry plant debris perfect
Although Gulf Fritillary Butterflies (Agraulis vanillae) use Passiflora incarnata as a host, they seem drunk in love from the sweet scent of Bidens alba
Although Gulf Fritillary Butterflies (Agraulis vanillae) use Passiflora incarnata as a host, they seem drunk in love from the sweet scent of Bidens alba
Leaf-footed Bugs (Acanthocephala terminalis) hide in the Coral Honeysuckle
Leaf-footed Bugs (Acanthocephala terminalis) hide in the Coral Honeysuckle
Lilypad Forktail Damselflies (Ischnura kellicotti) prefer the horizontal surface of American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) from which is drawn their common name
Lilypad Forktail Damselflies (Ischnura kellicotti) prefer the horizontal surface of American White Waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) from which is drawn their common name
Lovebugs are always in love as this group shows while nectaring on Tall Elephantfoot (Elephantopus elatus)
Lovebugs are always in love as this group shows while nectaring on Tall Elephantfoot (Elephantopus elatus)
Craneflies hit the blackberries
Craneflies hit the blackberries
Fruitflies use the Bidens alba where the female will lay her eggs keeping the seeds in check
Fruitflies use the Bidens alba where the female will lay her eggs keeping the seeds in check
Mydas Flies like the dried parts of Blue stem grasses
Mydas Flies like the dried parts of Blue stem grasses
Whirlabout Skipper Butterfly (Polites vibex) don't go very far from the grasses which is their larval host
Whirlabout Skipper Butterfly (Polites vibex) don’t go very far from the grasses which is their larval host
argined Leatherwing Soldier Beetles (Chauliognathus marginatus) find Rattlesnakemaster (Eryngium yuccifolium) to their liking
Margined Leatherwing Soldier Beetles (Chauliognathus marginatus) find Rattlesnakemaster (Eryngium yuccifolium) to their liking
Stinkbugs on the Patridge Pea which is a host for many butterflies as well
Stinkbugs on the Patridge Pea which is a host for many butterflies as well
Last but not least the oldtimers get in on the act as these tattered Pearl Crescent butterflies (Phyciodes tharos) have a last hurrah
Last but not least the oldtimers get in on the act as these tattered Pearl Crescent butterflies (Phyciodes tharos) have a last hurrah

Happy Valentine’s Day.  May you show the love of nature by planting your own native plant and wildlife garden.

*This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on February 13, 2015 at the defunct national blog nativeplantwildlifegarden[dot]com . Click the date to view reader comments.

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