Has anyone ever tried ginger canadense as a host plant for pipevine swallowtails? I came across a website that said it's an alternate host. Would they eat it if they're hungry?
It's interesting what you learn on this site.
Here's a source for Christie's information.
I just ordered some seed and a plant from PrairieMoon.com
I'm always battling with my pipevine since it's so invasive in my garden.
According to the Mo. Botanical Garden, the scientific name is Asarum canadense.
Yup, I found out from KC that it is a host plant for PVS. I checked it on HOSTS and sure enough. Plus it is in the Aristolochia family. Then, while doing BF surveys at the Arboretum, we noted that we always see male PVS patroling in our wildflower area where beaucoup wild ginger grows. Not only that, we checked and the ginger was blooming. Guess what the bloom looks like? A little pipevine flower! Ain't nature neat! Now, I know what I will be planting to replace all that dang blasted garlic mustard in the woods.
Years ago I saw ginger listed as a host plant for the pipe vine swallowtail in the Peterson's Guide to Western Butterflies or some name like that. So I tried some that I ordered at one of the larger nurseries nearby but the cats wouldn't touch it. I still have it growing near the pipe vines out back but I have never seen any cats on it. I am not sure which one I have but I think it is caudatum. But let me know if you have success with the canadenses.
HOSTS lists A. canadenses as observed host.
Elisabeth: from observation around here, wild ginger doesn't naturally out-compete the garlic mustard. :( What I've had to do is manually remove the garlic mustard over several years and then plant Snakeroot to replace it -- and we're still working on getting that established.
Garlic mustard is just nasty stuff.
Nothing out-competes garlic mustard :(! It is allopathic. Here in SW Ohio it has made a nice, not monoculture, but bi-culture with Amur Honeysuckle. So, I will have to rip is all out and be vigilant in the future. By the way, some folks in my Master Gardener class made garlic mustard pesto. It was an eat the weed project and it was yummy!
Can't say that I've ever seen the PVS go for the wild ginger, they always seem to go for the Virginia snakeroot instead. I've got both plants growing side by side. When the cats are hungry (and they always are), the wild ginger goes unscathed. My opinion is that the wild ginger as a host plant for the PVS is a myth. Somebody please prove me wrong!
I tried using wild ginger for PVS cats once,but they refused to eat it.So yes,maybe it is a myth.
Also,my very ancient Golden Butterfly guide lists knotweed (Polygonum?) as a host plant for PVS,but that seems even more unlikely than A. canadenses.
For those interested, here are two articles on Garlic Mustard's allelopathic properties:
Makes me even more determined to get the stuff out from under my trees.
I planted canadense this year based on sources saying it is a host plant so I hope to prove it is. PVS is native to my area and pipevine is not so the PVS is eating something else here.
Host plants are a tricky subject. What works in one area of the country may not work in another. Could be due to regional differences in the caterpillar or the plant or both or something else. I've been working on testing whether a couple polyphemus host plants really are host plants. Quince is one of them. First instar poly cats eat it like candy. Then something binds them up and most die with frass hanging out their rear. The rare cat makes it to second instar. Over 300 cats later, I finally have a fifth instar cat. If it makes it to adulthood, I'll breed it and see how its offspring do on quince. BTW, if anyone is successfully raising polys on quince, I'd love to hear about it.
Does Aristolochia serpentaria grow in your area? Or have I asked you this already. I just spent two heavenly days with Jaret Daniels and his lovely wife Stephanie (who is the head of BFCI). He insists that A. serpentaria is the host in our area. Beth (who you met at the house) says she is going to help me look for it. We will solve this mystery yet.
I think we emailed about this last year but a search I was doing popped this subject up so I looked into Aristolochia serpentaria again.
I live in Delaware county. It is not supposed to be here.
I cannot remember which county you are in, so:
It is either native or naturalized in Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Adams, Clinton, Greene and Clark.
It is not native to Preble, Montgomery, Miami, Warren and Butler.
I've got a few Aristolochia serpentaria I can send you to see if it will grow there. Let me know.
Also, I still have a few Aristolochia serpentaria seeds I can share with anybody that wants to try planting some.
Thanks for the offer but no thanks. I'm sure Aristolochia serpentaria will grow here but one of my neighbors has convinced me to just go with plants that are native to my part of Ohio (I have made exceptions for dwarf snapdragons and dill).
Serpentaria is wonderful. There may not be any reports in your county, but it just may not have been discovered. Serpentaria used to be more abundant across the Great Plains, including in Oklahoma. It has been harvested for the roots. It's a plant that needs to be reintroduced into areas where it has disappeared. I grow it here and the PVS are drawn to it before any of the other pipevine plants, including our native tomentosa. I have a feeling that it is overlooked because it is such a small plant and doesn't grow up trees like the vines do. You won't have a problem with it escaping into other areas as it just drops the seeds on the ground around the existing plants. It takes awhile to get a good bed established and it needs shady areas.
I know this may not change your mind, but I just wanted to let you know what a terrific plant this is. And Rod is making you an incredible offer!
It appears that Paul Rothrock of the Indiana Academy of Science did a study on the flora of Ginn Woods located near Ball State Univertity, in Delaware County. This study revealed that there is a population in Delaware County, Ohio, of Aristolochia serpentaria. I've attached this report FYI, KC.
The problem is that this particular pipevine is very endangered, if not completely extirpated, in much of its range and it would be a very good endeavor to assist in restoration of this particular pipevine.
Here is a link that might be useful: Aristolochia serpentaria
I disagree with the Asarum canadense as a host for PVS. It has by no means been our experience that they feed on ginger. My husband is an entomologist hobbyist, and we planted Aristolochia macrophylla late 2005 to attract PVS. We knew of some at a nursery about 30 miles from our house. We were unsuccessful the first year, so bought A. clematis from Bob Stewart @ Arrowhead Alpines Nursery in Michigan, who is very knowledgeable in entomology. He stated they like the A. clematis best, so we bought one. But, of course, it FROZE in the 2007 Easter freeze that wracked most of the Midwest and down to Georgia. Later that year we were back in Michigan nursery hopping and bought yet another one. They were amazed that we had lost such a sturdy plant (come to find out it came back at the end of the season). We waited and waited and no PVS. So, we got desperate in 2010 and decided to see if we could purchase chrysalis online. Nope. Then we started networking every potential lead, including Purdue Entomology department and people in high places at Dow who know people. They must be illegal to transport, apparently. Then in June 2010, the PVS "munchers" showed up on our now very large Dutchman's Pipe Vine A. macrophylla which covered a 3 panel trellis to hide the A/C unit. So, we also checked the A. clematis growing about 250' away, and they showed up in a few days. Now, we have nearly 4 acres and have tons of native American Ginger scattered all over, but no munchers ever showed up on that abundant plant. But by the end of the summer, we literally had several hundred munchers on the A. clematis (which I would advise NEVER plant in the ground, as it is extremely invasive--I've moved mine to very large containers) The A. clematis patch, which was extensive and invasive, was eaten to stubs by the end of summer and the A. macrophylla was barely touched. We had PVS colliding with us wherever we were working in the garden-- they were as thick as thieves! But they never touched the ginger. I even had to move a few dozen munchers from the stubs of the clematis to the macrophylla because they so overpopulated and starved themselves, but they dropped off as if I had fed them poison! They prefer the A. clematis to the A. macrophylla like I prefer filet mignon to beef jerky! Now, this year, we have NONE. I wonder if it was the 60 degree New Year's Day we had and they came out too early??? We are seeing very few of all our favorite butterflies, and only a rare catalpa worm as well.
I was hoping to prove or disprove the claim this year but the deer decided that my ginger supply belonged to them so I once again will make no attempt to raise pipevine cats this year.
If pipevine swallowtails aren't eating the ginger, then there is some other native hostplant here that is staying a mystery.
I wish I had seen this earlier today. I planted a pipevine last fall, it was still pretty small this summer, and I found 30+ cats on it last week. So I donated all but one of them to the local butterfly house. I was down to 2 leaves this morning so I spent all morning locating and purchasing another vine. The thing is that I have LOTS of wild ginger! I have always had a nice showing of the pipevine swallowtails but have never been able to find their hostplant.
The fact that a species has not been documented in a particular county basically means absolutely nothing. If a plant, or any type of species for that matter, has not been documented in a specific county does not mean that it is not supposed to be there.
There are still undiscovered and even unbelievable things all around us. There are pockets of immense diversity that people will plainly state their disbelief in simply because of their own personal mental hangups and unfounded prejudices.
When it comes to where you could find what tree or plant in the state of Ohio, those facts are already etched in stone. The studies were done many moons ago. If a plant is now found where it was not previously documented, it is normally treated as something somebody has transplanted unless there are mitigating circumstances. And good luck on getting a bunch of scientists to agree on those mitigating circumstances.
When it comes to insects, anything is possible because we know there are still thousands of undocumented insect species out there. One of my old neighbors is out in Arizona finding new lepidoptera. As for finding known species of insects in new areas, the internet has greatly lowered the excitement level of those discoveries since people are buying insects and releasing them in their area. The discovery this year of cecropias in California is an example of that.
Sometime last year, I bought a copy of "Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio," published in 1992. It is a book that documents which butterflies/skippers have been found in Ohio. Historical records, writings, and collections were examined to come up with this information. I recommend it for anyone who lives in Ohio. The one missing fact that has jumped out at me from reading the book is that in 1992, no one knew that juniper hairstreaks were living in Ohio. I'd love to know what year they were discovered in Adams County. My favorite odd fact I found was the only record of a Queen butterfly in Ohio was one found on the grounds of a seminary 10 miles north of Columbus. On July 1, 1959, it was captured by "Brother Donald Ray Geiger with his fingers as it rested on a gravel road on the grounds of the Pontifical College Josephinum." It is in OSU's insect collection.
Anyway, the book reports all known Ohio hostplants for each species. For pipevine swallowtails, Asarum canadense is listed with "Hoying, 1975" getting the credit for that info. For that reference, the bibliography shows "Hoying, Louis A. 1975. A list of west central Ohio butterflies. News Lepid. Soc. No. 2/3:4."
Funny how things come full circle. Brother Don Geiger founded the Marianist Environmental Education Center, and was instrumental in the restoration of the prairies at Mt. St. John. That is where I conduct some of my butterfly surveys each week. They dedicated the main prairie to him this fall. I have talked to Don about finding the queen. Also, conducting surveys there we see pipevine swallowtails. The people there have done pretty extensive surveys of the plant life and to our knowledge there is no A. serpentaria. However, we do see adults flying where we see wild ginger.