Monday, June 13, 2011

Dog Banana for Zebra Swallowtails

Zebra Swallowtail May 2010
Zebras were here earlier in the year. They disappeared.
I expect them back when Tithonia which is in bud, blooms.
They also like Lantana.

Host plants for Zebra Swallowtail caterpillars are Asimina species (pawpaws)  In the Southeast, a variety of other Asimina species besides A. triloba are utilized. A commonly-used host in north Florida and south Georgia is A. angustifolia.
Asmina angustifolia blooming in early May 2011

Native to dry sandy soils of north Florida, south Georgia, and a few counties in Alabama, the blooms are white with purple marked centers. Asimina is related to the magnolia. I read that they are fragrant.
I haven't noticed a scent.

Asimina Fruits June 2011.

The fruits are popular with animals. I tasted one once; it was kind of astringent to my taste.
Since then I watch the fruits. They disappear overnight as soon as they're ripe enough to eat.

Leaf in the center has been chewed on. I hope that means there will be more Zebras soon.

15 comments:

  1. Here's hoping it does mean more butterflies soon!

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  2. Love your Zebra swallowtails. Not something we see down here. We have the Zebra longwings.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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  3. Wow, what beautiful pictures of the zebra swallowtail! And what an unusual fruit, too. I'm going to have to look it up.

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  4. Zebra Swallowtail is my second-favorite butterfly. It would be first-favorite if I got to see them more often. They used to visit the garden fairly regularly in northern Virginia, but so far only once in central Virginia. I planted Asimina triloba for them, but they haven't grown well. Nice to see zebras here on your blog!

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  5. Beautiful!!! I have never seen a Zebra Swallowtail.

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  6. What any interesting plant, I've never heard of it. So far I've seen one butterfly other than a Cabbage White. I think they're waiting for it to warm up still.

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  7. What a strikingly beautiful butterfly. We certainly do not have anything as lovely.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  8. The zebra swallowtail is such a pretty butterfly. I saw a black and white butterfly in my garden the other day and could not identify it. We are north of their range, but I never did see this type of butterfly in my garden before.

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  9. They are just so pretty. I love watching them. I have a stray kitten that loves to try to catch butterflies. I think it is wimpy about getting birds since it is a runt so it goes for the butterflies. LOL!I make her spit them out every time I catch her.
    Your love of snakes is like mine Nell. LOL! Getting away from them and the fire ants into the electric wire is so funny. Maybe not for you though. LOL!

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  10. Pawpaws have to be bruising ripe before they taste yummy. Great post, the zebras will be back later in the season for a second brood.

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  11. what a beautiful butterfly. I have pawpaw's but dont think we get those butterflies here...

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  12. Beautiful shots here! I've only recently decided I am big-hearted enough to allow the caterpillars to eat my plants and finally put out some host plants to accompany the pretty nectar plants. Easy to feed the butterflies, but sometimes hard to keep their kids for them!

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  13. What a gorgeous butterfly! I don't think I've ever seen one in my garden. Very appropriately named!

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  14. They are very beautiful butterflies. We have a few swallowtails here, but i haven't seen that Zebra, because maybe there are not Asimina substitute here.

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  15. I haven't seen many butterflies this year. I'm hoping to soon. Only one of the tithonias I started inside is growing nicely. Another is trying. I have some little seedlings from the seeds I planted in the ground. I hope they bloom in time for the monarchs to enjoy them.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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