Spanish Needles (Bidens alba) get a bad rap, and many of us here at the Preserve have mixed feelings about them. They are a native Florida wildflower that provides a nectar source for bees, but they grow prolifically to the point of becoming a nuisance.
Spanish Needles are actually an important native Florida wildflower that support our pollinators and other native wildlife. Adult Gulf Fritillary butterflies enjoy the nectar, as do honeybees. It is also a host plant for the Dainty Sulphur caterpillar.
This plant can get a bit “weedy” and often needs management to keep from crowding out other plants, but there is no doubt it brings in a lot of life! It blooms throughout the year, especially in summer and fall. You will see Spanish Needles along the edge of our Pioneer Garden, around the Turtle Pen and along the Yellow & Blue Trails.
Have questions about restoration or native plants that are best for your yard? Email us.