Sulphurs Love That Buttered Popcorn.....

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)May 20, 2011

cassia, that is.

I ordered a 'Buttered Popcorn' cassia from Almost Eden earlier this spring. A female cloudless sulphur laid more eggs on it today than I've ever seen a sulphur lay at one time. There are about seven? eggs grouped in the new growth at the top, plus lots of others on outer leaves.

Here she is laying some eggs -

And here's the eggs at the top - they're the tiny white "dashes" in the leaves -

This cassia is supposed to be real cold tender, so I don't know if I'll be able to keep it alive for next spring.

And when you rub the leaves, they really DO smell like theater buttered popcorn!


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Very cool! Congrats!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 9:41PM
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Some plants are worth buying every year, MissSherry! I love that Cassia and have wanted it for a long time. I wonder if it will reseed for you like S. bicapsularis does for us here in Oklahoma?

I don't recall, other than actual annuals, buying a plant every year, especially one that I am unlikely to find other than via mail order. Dwarf Red Porterweed is one I bought again this year because I think it's performance and appeal to butterflies and hummers alike, make it well worth the annual expenditure.

Sulphur eggs are so distinctive looking and easy to spot, aren't they? I wish the larvae and chrysalises were as easy to find. I have just brought in the eggs on a leaf and they have hatched without any problems. I just keep adding a fresh leaf daily until they do.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:54AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Susan, the buttered popcorn cassia flowers have made little pea pods. If they hold on and make seeds, I'll certainly share.
This might be one plant worth replanting every year, I'll see.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 8:03AM
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That sounds wonderful, MissSherry, I'd love to give it a try.

I lost my big S. hebecarpa, an actual native perennial this year. It just didn't come back. I have lots of Xmas Cassia seedlings coming up, though.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:40PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Well, that is just too cool for school Sherry! Imagine? A Cassia that smells like buttered popcorn? Wow. I'd love to have some of that seed if you get any.
The only wild Senna I have growing here is the Sicklepod Senna. I did harvest a lot of seed last year and have lots of seedlings now. I am also growing (or trying to grow) Candlestick Cassia, Velvet Leaf Senna, and Tree Senna this year thanks to a seed donation from a generous Texas friend. Here's a pic I took awhile back of a Sleepy Orange female laying on my Sicklepod Senna.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:35AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Great picture, Angie - I don't know how she let you get so close! I think sulphurs, especially sleepy oranges, like sicklepod senna/cassia better than any type. The problem is that it takes a while for it to get some size on it. Of course, that doesn't stop sleepy oranges from laying on them - I've seen them laying on some little bitty plants growing just outside a bed in my garden. One year I transplanted some plants to my garden bed and fertilized them - they grew to about 6'X5' and I really had the sulphurs on them!
I'll send you some seeds, but the first little pods have dropped off. The plant is still pretty small, though it's growing rapidly. I probably should go ahead and plant it.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:45PM
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flowerchild59(z6b IL)

Cool pics.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:41PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Thanks Sherry. If you get extra seed, I would love some. You are right about the laying. I see them laying on little seedlings that have only one tiny leaf. It's nuts. Then again, I have tent raised the cats, and they are not voracious eaters like the Monarchs are. In reference to the picture, I was standing next to the plant with the camera in my hand when she landed and began to lay. You know how they get sort of trance-like when they lay. I guess that is how I got the shot. I get Sleepy Oranges and Cloudless Sulphurs laying on my Sicklepod. The Cloudless Sulphur cats are so cool. I love their little dots and their color changes. I also love the many shades of their chrysalides.~`Angie

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:19AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Sulphurs apparently grow much more quickly on buttered popcorn cassia than on Christmas cassia. The cloudless sulphur cats are already last instar - or maybe 4th instar? - and they were eggs only 12 days ago! I got this picture of one before I went out to get more leaves -

The little seed pods are sticking, not dropping, now that I've planted the cassia - maybe I'll have seeds to share.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:33PM
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