Friday, October 1, 2010

Cloudless sulphur caterpillars

It's been great fun (as well as rewarding) to have a new butterfly garden (that emphasizes host plants as well as nectar plants) at the Botanical Garden where I work.  Two of our long-term volunteers and I came up with a list of our essential plants for a butterfly garden, as we were relocating ours from a less hospitable site (windy and rocky).

Most of the plants were then rounded up with the help of Garden staff, purchased with support from the Carolina Butterfly Society, or donated (largely from our home gardens).

Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar on Cassia
It's been magical through summer and fall.  The garden has flourished beyond expectations, and has been full of caterpillars and butterflies.

The sulphur butterfly caterpillars taking advantage of the Cassia obtusifolia (Sicklepod) plants were excellent to see, along with monarch caterpillars munching common milkweed, gulf fritillary caterpillars on passion vine, black swallowtails decimating the fennel and dill, and sleepy orange caterpillars on the Cassia plants.  Not to mention the Giant Swallowtails that have appeared, apparently because Rue and other herbs are around.


  1. Thank you for sharing, I love caterpillars! I can not believe how many black swallowtail caterpillars I've had in my backyard this year. I planted dill, parsley, and carrots for them. I never realized how many different generations you can see in one season! First they polished off all the dill, now another batch is polishing off the carrots, and another batch is on the parsley! I tried planting rue but had a hard time with most of my seeds this year. I'll try again next year! :)

  2. I've not had much success growing dill so next year I hope to try parsley instead. Fennel has done well in my garden. Maybe I'll try carrots, too!

  3. Great Post :D
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly's tale~
    Bright Blessings
    elf ~


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