Butterflies

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)June 1, 2010

Before the big rain came at 2:00, there were lots of butterflies flying around my property. My buttonbush is blooming, which always draws in a lot of them, especially tiger swallowtails. I saw sleepy oranges, spicebush swallowtails, pipevine swallowtails, silver spotted skippers, American ladies, and at least 4 tiger swallowtails, including this male -


The lantana, pentas, milkweed, coneflowers, wild petunias, verbena, Brazilian red petunias, and various salvias, especially S. guaranitica are blooming in my garden. This female spicebush swallowtail was enjoying the tropical milkweed -


Sherry

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bananasinohio(6OH)

Nice!!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:30PM
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mcronin(6/7swVA)

Great pictures. Your buttonbush and tropical milkweed look GREAT. MIKE

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:42PM
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cecropia(z5 Oh)

Sherry,
Does buttonbush do well in shade? I really need to get one!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:08PM
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tdr4

I seem to only see Giant Swallowtails so far.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 12:19AM
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jrcagle(z7 MD)

Fantastic!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:17AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks, y'all!
I don't think buttonbush will do in shade, Dan, but it might. I got mine from a cutting I made of some roadside plants that are in full sun, as are all the buttonbushes I've ever seen.
Sherry

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:35AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I lost my big buttonbush, but planted some seeds I have from 2006 - yeah, pretty old, so I didn't expect much. Well, nearly all of them sprouted! I've thinned them to about 4 or 5 seedlings that were doing the best and need to pot them up today. Yeah, I'm late as usual. But, these are easy to grow from seed, in case you want to try some.

MissSherry - it's been so doggone hot here, I haven't seen too many butterflies. Your photos are gorgeous, though. I just bought a new point and shoot Kodak EasyShare M550 and am anxious to try it out. Got it for a great price $110. 12mp/5X zoom. We'll see how it works out.

Susan

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:52AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats on your new cheap camera, Susan - I love mine!
My buttonbush has gotten real big, about ?10' tall and much wider than that, with a few volunteers on the periphery.
I've been out planting some plants in the new meadow in the intense humidity outside - the thermometer only shows 83 degrees, but the humidity will knock you down, so I came in to eat and be in the air-conditioning a while. When I was a kid, we didn't have air-conditioning!
I took this picture of two American ladies nectaring on the buttonbush - it's hard to stick to planting, when there are so many butterflies on the buttonbush right next to the meadow -

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 11:57AM
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cecropia(z5 Oh)

I'm too old and impatient to grow things from seed. lol! Maybe I'll dig up a small one from a local swamp where I've seen them growing.Am assuming they need lots of water and damp soil to survive.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:39AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Dan, if I my recollection is correct, Sandy here in NE Oklahoma, planted hers in her yard, so Buttonbush can tolerate a wider range of soils/water than touted.

MissSherry, that photo of the PLs on Buttonbush is beautiful! I've seen a few more of them this year than normal, too.

Day before yesterday I saw the Silver Spotted Skippers mating like crazy in the Pine tree. I have never seen that before, so they must be laying eggs somewhere around here, possibly my neighbor's Wisteria. I have checked it a couple of times and found nothing. I need to check it again.

The Silvery Checkerspots were mating yesterday, so I need to keep an eye on my Coneflowers, too.

I have Pipevine Swallowtail babies all over the Aristolochia clemititis. It is starting to pop up all over the lower quarter of my backyard, quite a distance from the mother plants. Also found a group on the A. serpentaria. I wish I knew how to make the A. tomentosa grow faster!

Susan

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:51AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Buttonbush will grow most anywhere. Mine grows in my sunny garden where the soil gets fairly dry midsummer. If you can find a small one (or several) to transplant, it should take. I got my plant from Wild Things Nursery here in Oklahoma.

At the rate my Cecropia caterpillars are eating and growing, I need about a dozen plants!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:03AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

As usual MissSherry, beautiful pictures! You really have an eye for a great picture.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:30AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks, all!
Buttonbush is very easy to grow. I've never found any caterpillars on mine, too bad, because there are plenty of leaves on it that could be used.
Sherry

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:54PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Y'all should have seen the buttonbush today - I think every butterfly enthusiast should have one to see this sight! There were about 15 tiger swallowtails, including a good many females, too-numerous-to-count pipevine swallowtails, spicebush swallowtails, American ladies, skippers, bees, etc. I saw yellow male tigers flirting with black females all over the place - the buttonbush has made a good meeting place for them, like a bar! Later on this evening, some tigers had a puddle party -

Here's one of the pipevine swallowtails -

There were all sizes of butterflies on it, like this little pearl crescent ........

and this giant swallowtail -

I hope the giant swallowtail is a female (with eggs) but it looked like a male.
'Sorry for posting so many pictures, but I just can't stay away from the show on the buttonbush!
Sherry

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 6:23PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

ooooh la la!
misssherry, never apologize for posting those gorgeous pics!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 8:33PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Hope my buttonbush is as much of a butterfly magnet as yours is, Sherry. Mine has not bloomed yet, but is getting close.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:53PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Dan;
I have a buttonbush growing in my yard and Cox has several over 6 feet tall. It is native to Ohio. MEEC will have them for sale for 15 dollars in gallon pots on June 19th (8AM-1PM). You can check out their website. It might be a drive for you but it might be worth it.
-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:37AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I went out and bought a buttonbush today! Now I have to try to find a little sunny spot for it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 2:07PM
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crittergirl(z6 MO)

All of my butterfly bushes have died and I've been considering replacing them this year, but I may go with a buttonbush instead. I like the looks of them and it sounds like it'd grow just as well here. And congrats on healthy tropical milkweed; aphids usually overrun mine.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 7:08PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

For whatever reason, the usual aphids and other MW bugs aren't on my milkweed, not even the honeyvine/Cynanchum laeve, which is blooming right now. Since no bugs are eating the honeyvine flowers, I'll probably get seed pods, which I can share - several people have posted that they wanted one.
Sherry

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 8:02PM
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karyn1(7a)

Sherry I noticed that all my milkweeds, several varieties, are completely bug free. I usually get a terrible infestation of swamp milkweed beetles, milkweed bugs and aphids, especially on A. tuberosa, but my plants are clean as can be. I don't have any monarch cats either but it's not uncommon for me to see them laying eggs a bit later in the year. This is strange. I've had infestations of unwanted milkweed pests for at least 20 years. This is the first time I haven't seen any. It's almost scary. I have other caterpillars on their host plants, along with some unwanted critters, just nothing on the asclepias. I wonder why???

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:06PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

You got me! Maybe the extra cold winter? I don't know the answer, but I hope it stays this way - those bugs and aphids are gross, and, if they're bad enough, the monarchs won't lay eggs on it!
Sherry

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:20PM
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