Pipevine swallowtails

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We saw dozens of these butterflies in the arboretum last week.  They were all over the lavender blossoms, and whatever these red flowers are. 

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Apparently, they are like monarchs in that they require a specific kind of plant to lay their eggs on, and which is the only food source for their caterpillars.  In this case, it’s pipevine (big surprise there, I know!)  But what is pipevine?  I had no idea, so I looked it up:

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pic credit:  http://www.maggiesgarden.com/Plant_Profiles/Plant_This/Pipevine/pipevine.html

Pipevine, also known as Dutchman’s Pipe, helps the caterpillars out by making them unpalatable to predators, like milkweed does to monarchs.  Plus, what an awesome looking plant!  I will definitely be growing these when we can. 

 

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