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Bring on the Bees and the Beaches

Beginning in the early 2000’s, countries throughout the world began documenting a decline in bee populations.  Although seemingly insignificant, the continued decline of bees – generally referred to as “colony collapse disorder”, has the frightening potential to affect the world’s food supply.  A 2003 international study concluded that over forty crop systems across six continents are dependent upon the interaction of bees to yield healthy crops.  One significant factor that may contribute to the decimation of the bee population is the loss of habitat.

The continued crawl of urbanization has led to a significant reduction in the availability of pollen and nectar as well as shelter.  Florida, known generally for its citrus production, relies heavily on the production of honey.  Its climates, which ensure something is always growing, has placed the state in the top ten rankings of honey producers.  Glandularia Maritima, known by its common name of Coastal Mock Vervain or Beach Verbena, is also an endangered species in Florida.

A known favorite of pollinators such as butterflies and some species of bees, Beach Verbena is recognized by its violet blue blossoms nestled in mounds of dark green foliage.  Thought of as the wildflower of the dunes, Beach Verbena is admired for its ability to thrive amid salted water and air while lending itself to the stabilization of dune areas.  Growing to a height of approximately one foot with a spread between three and five feet, Beach Verbena would lend itself well to the landscaping as a ground cover and pollinator plant.

To learn more about Beach Verbena click on the link to the articles and information provided by the University of Florida IFAS:

Verbena maritima Beach Verbena1