Monday, September 9, 2013

American Painted Ladies: Vanessa virginiensis

One of the true brushfoot butterflies, Vanessa virginiensis the American Painted Lady has shown up again in my garden.

When I went to the wild gardens, Rabbit Tobacco was in evidence, about to bloom, one of the everlastings on which female American Painted Ladies lay eggs. I picked a leaf to crush and sniff the resinous fragrance. 

On the right you can see the wad of foliage where a pupa is.

You can read more about Rabbit Tobacco here: Tea with Peter Rabbit, a post I wrote in 2009.

Red Porterweed grown from a seedling.

I was thinking about the name of my blog, Secrets of a Seedscatterer. I wonder if I mention growing plants from seeds often enough?  The Stachytarpheta jamaicensis above grew from seeds last summer. I transplanted two Porterweed plants into small pots to keep over the winter and plant out in spring for the delight of butterflies.  A big self-seeded Tithonia plant grew up between the Porterweeds so they form a butterfly buffet. 


  1. I don't think I've ever seen a porterweed! How pretty! The butterfly looks like it was happy to find your garden. It looks so pretty against that red bloom.

  2. Reading about Rabbit Tobacco brings back some sweet childhood memories. We used to smoke it! I have found it in various places on the farm but haven't seen any lately. Usually I smell it before I realize what it is.

    Beautiful, clear shots of the butterflies and the gorgeous red flower.

    I would enjoy more about your seed raising adventures and the greenhouse.

  3. For those of us who follow you, you do mention it...or from cuttings...I rarely here you purchasing flowers or plants..I am sure you do but I can't recall you ever mentioning I think you it's appropriate name...and lives up the title.

  4. Most of the time when I buy a plant, it is to use as a source for making cuttings, like the Mistletoe Cactus and Burro Tail Sedum I bought last spring, or something too complicated from seed, like the two orchids I bought last winter. After the orchid I had finally rebloomed I was convinced that I might could keep another one or two.

    I recently ordered off for Hyacinth bulbs and 3 Amaryllis bulbs to force for winter bloom.

    Joy for me is in the growing.

  5. Yes, this does look like the butterfly in the photo. I wish Tithonia would self sow here. I got my seeds in a little late, and the 4 plants I have started blooming at 2 feet tall, and are now about 3 feet tall.


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

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