The Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitionius) is the state butterfly of Florida. They used to be a rare sight in my butterfly garden, but this year are the most common sight so far. The Orange Cestrum (Cestrum aurantiacum) is the most popular plant in the garden so far this year too. It’s grown too big for its spot though and needs to be moved or at least severely pruned this Fall.
A pair of Gulf Fritillary butterflies sample the nectar of one of my Giant Mexican Sunflowers (tithonia diversifolia). The flowers are Fall bloomers and come on after the regular Mexican Sunflowers pretty much go into demise for the Fall and Winter. This morning the low hit 28 degrees bringing the first freeze of the season and I wonder how long these flowers or the butterflies will still be around this year.
I acquired this Fall bloomer at the Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival this year after reading about them in the Sun. I watched them grow to the roof all Summer and staked them when the wind blew them over. My efforts have been rewarded.