May 25, 2011

Zebras and their Paw Paws

Wildflowers are abundant here according to the seasons. Butterflies returned as soon as the weather commenced to warm and found host plants; Buckeye caterpillars were on toadflax early. It's very satisfyling to know that they will find hosts for laying eggs for a new brood. Asimina angustifolia Paw Paw is the host plant for Zebra Swallowtail Eurytides marcellus. Paw Paw was hardly putting on leaves when the first Zebras arrived.
Zebra Swallowtail on Lantana.

Paw Paw in my garden was planted by a bird or other creature.
The fruits always disappear as soon as they ripen, popular with critters.


Paw Paw grows in close proximity to Lantana where Zebras nectar.
They are also noticed nectaring on Tithonia when those plants bloom.

Slimleaf Paw Paw

Asimina angustifolia in a sandy firebreak. Paw paws are abundant in uncultivated areas.

Farther north Zebras are likely to use Asimina triloba as a host. In North Florida and South Georgia,  Slimleaf Paw Paw is the host.

Zebra swallowtail nectaring on Lantana.
Notice the length of the tails, which is why they are referred to as a 'kite' butterfly.

Garden Lantanas here are naturalized, not the native Lantana depressa.

Maypop Passiflora species

Other butterfly host favorites here are wild vines Pipevine and Passiflora.
 Passifloras grow in fence rows and wild areas, uninvited to the house garden.
Pipevine is forming buds in the back yard. I can hardly wait to see blossoms.

Wildflower Wednesday is hosted by Gail of Clay and Limestone.

Flowers and text are from the garden of Nell Jean blogged on Dotty Plants Journal in hot, humid Southwest Georgia.

7 comments:

garden girl said...

What a beautiful butterfly Nell Jean!

The blooms on the paw paw are really interesting. I've never seen them before.

Gail said...

Like Linda, I've never seen a paw-paw bloom either. Really cool. Nell Jean~I cannot wait to see your pipevine blooms...Let us know when they open! gail

Alison said...

Beautiful butterflies, Nell! Such amazing tails on them. And the paw paw flowers are so strange looking, the way they droop. Thanks for these great pictures of butterflies and the wildflowers that they like.

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Saw my first zebra earlier this spring. I am definitely planting a paw-paw just for them. Wonderful that the birds did it for you. Your photos are great!

greenapplesgarden.com said...

You really do have a butterfly haven there. You get a lot of variety and such pretty visitors.

Rebecca said...

Great photos! I have 3 Pawpaw trees that I planted a few years ago, but haven't had a caterpillar yet. Thanks for sharing :)

Tammie Lee said...

beautiful to see your butterfly and flowers.

I Blog Here & Here too