Zexmenia or Wedelia, Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida, is the restaurant of choice for wildlife in my gardens. Trendsetter insects like Ms. Honeybee,
…and Ms. Texas Mason Bee, Osmia subfasciata (?), experiment with Zexmenia’s specialty menu, the well-known nectar de jour.
Out for the evening, a member of the Muscidae clan partakes in the melt-in-the-proboscis Asteraceae ambrosia.
All three of those Zexmenia aficionados slurped delicious and nutritious nectar from this native Texas insect cuisine. Ms. Honeybee also took home a corbicula doggy bag full of pollen.
Butterflies also visit this popular spot for a quick nosh. The trendy Dun Skipper, Euphyes vestris,
But the Spotted Cucumber Beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata, isn’t a welcomed patron of most vegetarian restaurants.
…which, instead of drinking or gathering pollen, is a destructive consumer of the flowers. Zexmenia is the host plant to three different butterfly species, so it would be natural to find some caterpillars on the leaves, but this fella is munching on the bloom, which shows poor manners. He’s so immature. I imagine once the caterpillar grows up, she/he will be a better mannered butterfly or moth guest and only nip daintily and spread pollen productively.
Zexmenia is a plant that all the groovy insects hang out on. This female Plateau Spreadwing, Lestes alacer, is definitely part of the cool crowd.
And some, like the Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis, come to Zexmenia to see other patrons.
This is a great place to wildlife watch–a place to see and be seen. Zexmenia provides a satisfying and elegant dining experience for many tastes and palates. Make your reservations and try it this weekend!