Monday, April 8, 2013

Butterfly News: Pipevines Are Growing

When Azaleas were at the height of bloom two weeks ago, we saw Tiger Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, Zebra Swallowtails but NO Pipevine Swallowtails. That first flush of butterflies is over.

Tiger on Azaleas, March, 2013

The next seen will be Pipevine, for sure. Pipevines are growing behind the greenhouse around an oak tree. They share real estate with other wildings including Catbrier. I decided the Catbrier as companion may be a symbiotic relationship -- catbrier discourages anything else from eating the pipevine and perhaps somehow protects  caterpillars. No scientific basis for this reasoning but for some reason they often grow together, the pipevine to the outside.

These are not the decorative Pipevines known as Dutchmen's Pipe.
These are native pipevine Aristolochia tomentosa (Wooly pipevine). This small downier version of A. macrophylla occurs from North Carolina and Missouri south to the Florida Panhandle and Texas. The flowers are very small and insignificant unlike the big Dutchmen's Pipes usually seen as Pipevine.

These are immature vines. Mature vines reach high up the tree.
Pipevine Swallowtail on Duranta flowers, August, 2012
These are the butterflies we hope to see in great numbers soon. Duranta flowers are yet to appear.
What Butterflies do you anticipate next? Is a feast prepared?


  1. We have Dutchman's pipe, which also hosts very lovely swallowtails. When our area started to be not tended because my father died, all plants and weeds started to grow, and we see lots of butterflies in our property. Even if i don't know where the host plants are, i can see lots of them flying by. But some are near our house and nectar plants like Datura keep them alive at adult stages.

  2. One of the things I love about blogging is seeing so many plants I've never even heard of! You sure get a lot of beautiful butterflies. We have quite a few clumps of Butterfly Weed to attract Monarchs and I just made a Butterfly totem for the garden so they have a place to drink water.


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

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