Six on Saturday The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly

A Zebra Longwing, the state butterfly of Florida, sipping nectar from a Firebush (Hamelia patens var patens). A good thing.

Another good thing, my Bottle Palm (Hyophorbe lagenicaulis) is finally making its bottle trunk. Eventually the old fronds fall off and the palm looks like it is sitting on a green wine bottle. This has taken about five years.

The bad thing about these next plants, they are so slow growing it is almost not worthwhile planting them. Both are Florida natives and come with the native hype…

This is a Thatch Palm (Thrinax radiata) It has been in the garden for about five years and might be 18″ tall. I am not sure I will live long enough to see an actual palm tree form.

A Satinleaf (Chysophyllum oliviforme), the back sides of the leaves. This is reportedly a tree, and sounds romantically wonderful when described by growers who have seen it blowing in the wind. At six years old and possibly a foot tall (the ferns dwarf it) I have to lie down beside it to experience the romance.

The front side of the leaves.

And now, the bugly. This is the dreaded Lubber Grasshopper, another hyped Florida native. These can be 3 or 4 inches long and love to eat plants. Filled with poison, they only have one natural enemy, a bird called a Loggerhead Shrike, the bird impales the grasshopper and leaves them around to dry out and then eats them. I find them dead in the shrubbery from time to time. I am also an enemy and have frightened my dogs gleefully stomping them.

That is my six for this Saturday. Stop by http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com to see more posts from around the world.

Happy Gardening..

31 comments on “Six on Saturday The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly

  1. Great photos, don’t like the look of that grasshopper!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t realize palms grew so slow. But come to think of it, I have seen nurseries with really big mature palms for sale. I would guess most of the houses around here started out with the larger ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Dwarfs aren’t so bad… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Fantastic photo of your Zebra Longwing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The butterfly is beautiful and the evil bug…fascinating if not exactly beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy says:

    You have such lovely foliage in your garden, and a beautiful butterfly too. The grasshopper looks menacing though. We recently have seen shrikes in our garden, near the Robinia which has enormous thorns…..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tonytomeo says:

    Hey, that thatch palm is not so bad. Actually, the leaves are rather pretty, like those of a windmill palm. I would expect an 18″ tall palm to have only those long grassy juvenile leaves, like those of Mexican fan palm. The only problem is that this is all it has done after several years. I intend to try growing it anyway, even if I never see it as a tree. I will not grow any for landscapes though; just my own garden. (The seed are already here, so I am obligated.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Noelle M says:

    Wow…tropical beauties there, with a big nasty bug, which is rather handsome, but with such greenery around it is not surprising that you find it in your garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Karen says:

    Friends of ours are besieged with the dreaded Lubber Grasshopper. We went over for cocktails on their back deck and were told to quickly come in…they are having trouble with the unwanted grasshoppers coming in the front door. Thankfully I haven’t seen any in our garden.

    Liked by 1 person

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