Butterflies Were Everywhere Today

Holy Cow!  Today there were Butterflies everywhere in the backyard.  We had a Monarch, Question Mark, Variegated Fritillary, Giant Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Eastern Black Swallowtail, some type of Crescent Butterfly, and a Pipevine Swallowtail.

I got a few pictures, but I missed several and several others weren’t that good as I got over-excited.

The plants that seemed to be attracting the most Butterflies were the Lantana and Butterfly Bush.

The most prevalent Butterfly I saw today was the Eastern Black Swallowtail.  Interestingly, none of them were laying any eggs, they were just going after the nectar and chasing each other.

Eastern Black Swallowtail On Butterfly Bush

Eastern Black Swallowtail On Butterfly Bush

On top of all that, we’re having a crisis.  We are running out of Dutchman’s Pipevine (Aristolochia Fimbriata) and neither Joshua’s Native Plants nor Buchanan’s Native Plants has any in stock.  We have at least 15 huge Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillars and although I’ve been thinking they will soon stop eating and form Chrysalises, I’m apparently mistaken.  I could have sworn they were going to stop eating yesterday, and yet today there they were, still munching away.  They were even eating the Dutchman’s Pipevine stems since there were so few leaves.

I’m going to start calling first thing in the morning and see if any other nurseries have this plant in stock.  For those of you in the Houston area reading this, if you know of a source, please share!

Eric - Try Arbor Gate in Tomball.June 5, 2010 – 5:55 pm

texdr - Thanks Eric. I did try them. Actually I tried most reputable places around Houston and the only kind that anyone had in stock was the Giant Pipevine.June 5, 2010 – 7:04 pm

LeAnn - You have probably tried these but Caldwell Nursery in
Rosenberg and Maas Nursery in Seabrook. Good luck. I
would offer leaves but I have a small vine just starting
and I believe it is a different one.June 5, 2010 – 7:46 pm

texdr - I forgot about Caldwell Nursery. I may try them. I didn’t even think about Maas Nursery. It’s been years since I’ve been down there.

Thank you for the suggestions!June 5, 2010 – 8:31 pm

isaac - I’ve never gotten around to growing pipevine. Does it pretty much guarantee having the corresponding butterfly around akin to passionflower bringing in the frits?June 6, 2010 – 3:45 pm

texdr - Actually no, at least not in my case. I have giant dutchman’s pipevine and this groundcover type called A. Fimbriata. On my Giant Pipevine last year I had tons of Polydamas Swallowtails (I think it may be too toxic for Pipevine). This year, no Polydamas (at least not yet).

On the Fimbriata, two years ago I had a fair amount of Pipevine. Last year nothing. This year, about 20 cats so far.

The only problem I have with Fimbriata (other than finding it) is that the leaves aren’t really big so it doesn’t take long for the cats to eat it to nothing. It does seed, but after 2 years it’s very manageable.June 6, 2010 – 7:02 pm

isaac - It’s an interesting plant so I may have to find room for it. That’s always the problem, though, finding room.June 8, 2010 – 4:11 pm

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