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Hello Mark and Garden Talk Bloggers. Yesterday, my son Boone, a friend of his, and myself were visiting My Uncle Dave's and Aunt Susie's farm. The open pasture area was alive with blooming wildflowers and hundreds of butterflies. The top photo is of a Zebra Swallowtail. This butterfly is feeding itself off of a asclepias tuberosa or commonly known as butterfly weed. Notably this perennial is also the 2017 perennial plant of the year, but has grown "wild" in their fields for years. An interesting note about this butterfly is that it's caterpillars feed exclusively on Paw Paw trees.
The second photo is of a Great Spangled Fritillary, also on the butterfly weed, it's caterpillars feed on violets. I knew none of this 24 hours ago, but as the boys were asking me the names which I did not know, they were looking them up on their phones. Which lead them to the info on the Paw Paw tree importance. Next they looked that up on their phones and we were off on a treasure hunt thru the farm to find and identify the host tree. Next on the list were the violets. So much of the time we try to get our kids off their devices,
I hope some viewers get some enjoyment and info about these great plants and insects. Also I think this could be a great reason to visit some of our areas great parks and arboretums and have fun identifying some of the most beautiful creatures and the plants they need. What a fun way to learn and extend your plant palate. Have a great weekend. JMS
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