Sunday, May 16, 2010

Passionflower vines and caterpillars

We visited Wildseed Farms this morning in hopes of finding native passionflower vines. No luck. However, Liz Cannedy at the Farm's butterfly garden kindly shared some cuttings off one huge Passiflora caerulea (above left), complete with baby fritillary caterpiallars, so we could start some at home. She also gave us a big sprig of Passiflora 'Incense' (right bottle). We trimmed off most of the big leaves, piled them in a plastic container and set them inside a dark cabinet in the garage. Here's hoping some the caterpillars make it!

Passiflora incarnata
Meanwhile, I checked our little native passionflower vine, and it's hanging in there. There must be seven or eight caterpillars feeding on just a few meager leaves.

I was relieved to see more eggs and a few tiny caterpillars on our other (nonnative) passionflower vine. It's thriving! Which is good because that means plenty of food for everyone!

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