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Passiflora incarnata alba, WHITE PASSIONFLOWER
WHITE PASSIONFLOWER

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QUEEN on BLUE MISTFLOWER

A queen butterfly nectaring on blue mistflower in the CREW (Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed) Marsh in southwest Florida.

Queen, Blue Mistflower, Danaus gilippus, Conoclinium coelestinum

The queen butterfly is a resident of Florida and southern California south through Central America and the West Indies, into South America as far as Argentina. During the warmer seasons Danaus gilippus migrate out of this range into much of the United States except for the most northern regions.
Blue mistflower is a common perennial wildflower of floodplain forests, wet hammocks and pond margins in nearly all of Florida. The range extends throughout the southeastern United States, west into Texas to Nebraska and north to Michigan & New York.
Growing up to 40 inches, but more frequently one to three fett tall, the stems of Conoclinium coelestinum are covered with short hairs. Leaves are opposite, triangular to heart-shaped, with short petioles. The leaf surface is deeply veined and the margins are toothed (crenate-serate). The inflorescence lacks ray flowers. Thirty-five to seventy blue-purple disk flowers make up each discoid head. These heads are numerous in terminal corymbs, appearing in late spring in south Florida. Blue mistflower blooms through summer and fall in most of its range.
Along with monarchs and soldiers, queens are a member of the subfamily Danainae also known as the milkweed butterflies. Host plants are both herbs and vines of the milkweed (Asclepiadaceae) family. The diet makes both the caterpillar and butterfly extrememly distasteful to predators.

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