Monday, June 18, 2012

More pipevine


What's left of our original pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata)
Two weekends ago, a new hatch of pipevine caterpillars devoured what was left of our pipevine plants in the Meadow. They're still alive, and you can barely see a new sprout in the upper left quadrant of the photo above. This nonnative species is very resilient. In June 2009, we planted three. But we didn't attract any caterpillars until this summer. I wanted to run and buy more after the caterpillars finished off the leaves, but the Natural Gardener didn't have any in stock. A nice lady said she could take my phone number and call when some came in. A few days later, Eric from the nursery called and said they had pipevine plants. So we drove into Austin last Friday and purchased two.


Last night, we got nearly an inch of rain. So James planted the vines this morning. Perfect timing!


1 comment:

Bluestem said...

My pipevines were stripped just like that around a month ago. They were way overloaded with caterpillars so I transferred several to my native climbing pipevine, Aristolochia tomentosa. The caterpillars really prefer the non-native groundcover to the native vine. My guess is that it is because the leaves of the native vine get pretty tough as they mature and the groundcover leaves stay soft and may even taste better. Several of the caterpillars I put on the vine were not happy with their new diet and took to wandering in search of other food. I doubt that the wanderers survived, but I still ended up with several pipevine swallowtails flying around the garden this year. The groundcover is recovered now and I noticed a few eggs on the climbing vine yesterday. And the flowers of both plants are very interesting. If you are not familiar with the native pipevine, you can find some of my pictures here http://planobluestem.blogspot.com/search?q=pipevine

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