Friday, March 8, 2013

Comes the Fluttering Butterfly

When Azaleas Bloom, Tiger Butterflies return, huge yellow beauties looking for nectar. Where do they come from?

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail females also have a dark form, easily
recognized by the veining on the wings. The yellow butterflies are
more easily noticed in the garden. We are just beginning to see these.

 Black Cherry Prunus serotine trees are the host plants for Papilio glaucus, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, our State Butterfly. Below is a short list of other local host plants for butterflies growing in my area of Georgia.

We'll soon be seeing all of these butterflies.

Some butterflies, like Zebra Swallowtails, only use a specific plant. Buckeyes and American Painted ladies use a number of different plants depending on availability. I've seen Buckeye larvae on Toadflax, on Agalinis in the fall, on Snapdragons in the spring.

Wild Cherries act not only as host plants but shelter. At the end of the previous warm season, pupae sensing the coming cold may not emerge. They remain until the end of winter, emerging when Azaleas bloom. I guess everything is triggered by day length and warming trends.

We can rest right here to wait for butterflies.


  1. How exciting that you are already seeing butterflies!! I love your list. I bet your garden will be just covered with our flying friends. I'd love to see more of them!

  2. What a beautiful garden you have with such awesome flowers, NellJean! And soon to be filled with many species of butterflies... what a blessing! :)

  3. I'm glad you pointed out the George Tabor's. I am getting the four kinds of azaleas I own. I own the ones that you have at the bottom pic. I, also, own lighter pink ones...not as white as George Tabor and not as Purple as the ones below. I know of them is called the Pride of Mobile, do not know which of the two pink/purple is them and I do not know the name of the other.

  4. This makes me excited about our coming warmer butterflies yet here.

  5. We don't have any butterflies yet, but I imagine soon. Great list of host plants to keep in mind.


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

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