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Pollination diagram 300x199

What is Pollination?

Pollination diagram

When a pollen grain moves from the anther (male part) of a flower to the stigma (female part), pollination happens. This is the first step in a process that produces seeds, fruits, and the next generation of plants. This can happen through self-pollination, wind and water pollination, or through the work of vectors that move pollen within the flower and from bloom to bloom.

Why do we need pollinators?

Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.

Pollinating animals travel from plant to plant carrying pollen on their bodies in a vital interaction that allows the transfer of genetic material critical to the reproductive system of most flowering plants – the very plants that

  • bring us countless fruits, vegetables, and nuts,
  • ½ of the world’s oils, fibers, and raw materials;
  • prevent soil erosion,
  • and increase carbon sequestration

This nearly invisible ecosystem service is a precious resource that requires attention and support – – and in disturbing evidence found around the globe, is increasingly in jeopardy.  Pollinator Partnership, 2021. “Pollinators need you. You need Pollinators.”

Published by Pollinator Partnership, San Francisco, USA.

Pollinator facts:

Our pollinators are in trouble with declining numbers worldwide. There are multiple causes including, habitat loss, pesticide use, invasive plants, climate change, and diseases.

In Florida, we have 300 native bees, 160 butterfly species that breed here and about 200 species that migrate through the state, and 3 commonly seen hummingbird species.

Bees are our most efficient pollinators. Practicing “flower Constancy,” searching for certain plants on their foraging trips. They go to and from the same species of flower. Pollinating a third of the world’s food supply.

Searching for nectar, butterflies pick up pollen and accidentally pollinate, not quite as efficient as the honeybee. Yet, several plant species, like milkweed and other wildflowers, depend on butterflies to transfer their pollen.

Hummingbirds are hungry creatures feeding most of the day. This makes them perfect pollinators for many flowers. Certain flower varieties have evolved to become even more appealing to these tiny birds.

Gardening for Pollinators in your own yard can help! As natural habitats are being destroyed to accommodate new development, the importance of gardening to assist bee and butterfly populations is growing. Planting a pollinator garden in your yard helps combat this loss of natural habitats.

Selecting the right plants for your Pollinator Garden

BEES: Honeybees prefer white, yellow, purple, and blue flowers — they can’t even see the color red! Bees also need a nice-sized landing pad, so broad petal, daisy-like flowers are best. Finally, they need both pollen and nectar to feed the hive. So fruit-producing trees and shrubs, as well as native plants, fill the bill.

BUTTERFLIES: If you want a well-attended butterfly party in your yard, invite your local butterfly species by planting their favorite host plants! Butterflies require specific host plant species to lay their eggs on, along with food and shelter. Then add some nectar plants, preferably with red, orange, yellow, and pink trumpet-shaped flowers, to feed your guest.

HUMMINGBIRDS: Brightly colored, preferably red, tubular flowers that hold the most nectar are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. Plant these sugar-rich plants near and around your home and patio areas for the best opportunity to view these elusive and amazing birds.

Bees on gaillardia
Bees on gaillardia

Black-Eyed Susan

Coral Honeysuckle



Purple Coneflower




Dune Sunflower

Blue-Eyed Grass



Agastache Bee Balm

Monarch Butterfly on flowers 1
Monarch Butterfly on flowers 1







Sweet Almond Bush


Black-Eyed Susan

Purple Coneflower



Gaillardia Dune Sunflower

Hummingbird drinking from cigar plant
Hummingbird drinking from cigar plant


Coral honeysuckle


Tropical Sage


Cardinal flower

Necklace Pod

Cigar Plant

Bat face Cuphea




Shrimp plant Soap Aloe

Important Tips:

Avoid using insecticides and other harmful chemicals in your garden.

Shop the garden centers at different times to select plants that bloom in different seasons.

Fertilize with organic plant foods, like compost and fish fertilizer.

Choose plants for butterflies that will provide food for caterpillars.

Common caterpillar host plants: Milkweed, Parsley, Dill, Fennel, Dutchman’s Pipevine, Passion Vine, Azalea, Cassia/Senna Trees

Butterfly adults need more than nectar from flowers. Try setting out a dish full of fruit scraps. Fill the bottom with a very shallow layer of water mixed with sea salt and watch which butterflies hang around for a snack.




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