My first Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing)
shows the life cycle of the butterfly. Click above to
See all the yellow pollen stuck to its proboscis? The Zebra
Heliconian Butterfly (or Zebra Longwing, if you prefer,) is one of the
few butterflies able to digest pollen.
The Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly on the left is nectaring
. Firebush is the all
time favorite nectar plant
of the Zebra Heliconian Butterflies in my
yard. It is a native Florida plant, but there are non native varieties
available that the serious conservationists really dislike.
sells the native variety.
The Zebra Butterfly on the left is nectaring on Spanish Needles.
I have a love-hate relationship with that particular weed. The
butterflies absolutely adore it, so I have to keep some, but the name
defines the burrs. Visit my
Spanish Needles Nectar Plant
page for pictures of the 'needles' and more information about the plant.
Another favorite nectar plant of Zebra Heliconians is
. The Zebra in the photo
below is sipping from one. It's a small decorative tree with red
flowers. I don't think it's a Florida native plant, but I'm keeping mine
because it's pretty, and my butterflies like it too.
another good one, but I understand it's not native here, and mine kept
dying so I finally quit wasting money buying more of them. No, they're
so pretty I'd have probably wasted a bit more, but digging holes in the
hot Florida sun for a plant that will die in a season? Nope, I'm not
doing that any more unless it re-seeds itself for me.
with purple or white (and possibly more colors) flowers. The name
describes the seeds. Mine is growing next to a
. Most of the
time my Zebra Butterflies sip from the Firebush, but every so often they
pause and taste the Golden Dewdrop too.
Unless otherwise indicated, all of my photos are in Palm Beach and
Broward Counties in South East Florida. Butterflies in your area might
prefer other flowers; follow them to find out.
Now I've also seen these butterflies sip nectar from
, and other flowers.