I'm loving my red zinnias - - - Gulf Frit

christie_sw_mo(Z6)August 11, 2010

I wasn't sure my red zinnias (Scarlet Flame I think) would attract butterflies because the package said "double" but I've been seeing swallowtails on them frequently and saw a Gulf Frit a few days ago which is a real treat for me. I've only seen a GF in my yard one other time. Can anyone tell if this is a male or female?

I was on my riding mower when I saw it and had to stop and run in to get my camera.

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instar8(Z 5 N.IN)

Pretty pretty, both flower and fritty!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 9:46AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

My goodness, those zinnias are absolutely breathtaking! You grew these from seed? And you bought the seed where? WOW. I want somma those!! I am guessing that your Gulf Frit is a female. I found this nice comparison on the net.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 3:53PM
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I bought them because I wanted to try planting a big patch of a single color instead of assorted colors. I checked a few places locally and Scarlet Flame was the only one I could find that wasn't mixed. It was getting late to plant seeds so I didn't want to order them. I can't remember where I ended up buying them, maybe Lowe's.
I sowed the seeds directly on June 18th and had flowers by July 24th (36 days).

I'm sure there are lots of zinnias that butterflies like but I'm starting to learn that it helps to plant a big patch to get their attention rather than just a few.

I saw a Gulf Frit again today and there were several swallowtails (Black and Spicebush I think). I spent some time this afternoon trying to get a good picture and will post it when I get it on the computer.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Beautiful pictures. I have never seen a Gulf Frit here. I think I saw a Red Spotted Purple Swallowtail on the ripe banana yesterday.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 6:44AM
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Beautiful pictures. I love the frit and the zinnias.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:59AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

The zinnias are a beautiful color, Christie, and I think the gulf frit is a male - females are tawnier.
Congrats on the gulf frit!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 10:01AM
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I was afraid of that Sherry. I'd be pretty excited to find GF cats on my p. incarnata. I couldn't get a good photo of the one I saw yesterday so I switched my camera and took a short video. This one wasn't as bright so maybe it's a female. Not sure this will work:

Here's a photo showing the swallowtails:

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 11:02AM
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The butterflies are loving those red zinnias!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 11:45AM
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Christie, what gorgeous flowers, photos, and butterflies! You captured it all, didn't you? :) Love those Zinnias. Mine never look quite that good. I have some cream colored ones, and some candy-striped red/white singles I found this year, and I'm mostly letting them go to seed so I will have TONS for next year.

MissSherry, I didn't know you could tell the gender by color on the GFs. I always thought the females were a lot bigger than the males, so it was a size thing. Nice to know and I will keep an eye out for that identifier.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 7:11PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yes, the males are much brighter orange when they first emerge than females when they first emerge. The problem is that when you see an older, tattered gulf frit, it may look tawny, but then that could be because it's faded with age.
I think I got two good pictures of newly emerged adults several years ago - I'll check.

Yep, those are the pictures - male GFs are almost red when newly emerged, like in the picture, and you can see how much tawnier orange the female is. These were a pair that I raised that emerged on the same day, as I recall. Actually, from a distance, new males look true red. And, like you say, Susan, the females are a little bigger, but then a big individual male might be as big as a female, and a small female might be the size of a male, so it's hard to tell.
Anyway, Christie, if you find one laying eggs on your maypops, it's a female! :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:11PM
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