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A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Posted by mary_littlerockar 7b Central Arkansas (mleek@sbcglobal.net) on
Sat, Aug 13, 11 at 11:23

There is a great thread by iamabirdnut on this forum and questions came up about the A. fimbriata vine. I thought I'd post this photo and my experience with growing the little vine. Another forum member kindly shared seed with me two years ago and I'm so pleased to grow this little plant.

The photo below will show the size of the leaves in relationship to English Ivy. The largest of my leaves grow maybe 2-3 inches across and the little vines behave more like a ground cover. Each little vine appears to mature at maybe 20 inches or so in length, the leaves are quite tender for the baby cats but they can munch through the little vines quite quickly. The little vines do recover, sprouting new growth from the tuberous root.

This is the first year I've grown this plant in ground and with only early morning dappled sun and then high shade from the A. tomentosas, which is growing on a tall trellis above this planting, and regular watering, they are doing great (much better than when I attempted to grow them in hanging baskets). They are currently planted in rich loamy soil in a raised bed. I've found them easy to germinate from seed and I've read they will reseed themselves, adding to their colony. I discovered three new little plants growing out of the pine mulch in my shade garden this summer. This is the spot where I had the baskets sitting last summer, after I realized they couldn't take our sun here in Arkansas and moved them to my shade garden.

Sherry, I bet they would do well in dappled shade in your garden. They're a pretty plant, too, with the white veins providing some interest among the green of a garden. The little blooms are typical pipevine blooms and when they produce seed pods, the pods look like little watermelons hanging on the tiny vines. Each little seed pod contains quite a few seeds. In my experience, the vines will not twine themselves around a trellis, they seem to prefer to sprawl along the ground and so far, I've seen no rooting along the length of the little vines. A couple of days ago, I placed a rock on top of a section of one little vine, just to see if it would evently root at a leaf node. I've read they can be rooted from cuttings but I've never tried.

The tiny blooms at the bottom of the photo are: Wishbone Flower - Clown Mix (Torenia fournieri), not blooms of the little vine.

~Mary

A. fimbriata vines (aka White Veined Hardy Dutchman's Pipevine) growing with English Ivy. Zone 7-9


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

The A. fimbriata is beautiful, Mary! I love veined leaves.
I had already looked up places where I could buy this plant, but didn't order it, because I wasn't too sure this is a good time to plant anything. After seeing yours and reading about how it makes a good ground cover, I'll definitely have to go ahead and order some. I have LOTS of dappled shade in my garden, in my yard and on my property. And do I ever have the pipevine swallowtail eggs and cats!! I found more new batches of eggs on some A. tomentosa that has cats munching nearby - 'hope they don't get eaten by the cats, but I doubt I'll bring them in to make sure they don't. I'm already raising quite a few on my porch.
My A. tomentosa continues to pop up in new places, but with all these eggs, it's still not enough.
'Anybody have any suggestions as to where I should order A. fimbriata? I got another 1.5" of rain yesterday, so it looks like there will at least be enough water to keep me from having to water new plants too often. The temperatures aren't abnormally high - upper 80's to low 90's for highs - but the humidity makes it feel like a sauna. I don't like the way it feels, but most plants do well under those conditions, and I have an idea that A. fimbriata will like it.
Sherry


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Sherry,

Please check your email.

Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Mary

If you have them in shade, how much water do they get? I've heard they like to dry out between waterings. I've got some in mostly sun that do struggle some but are alive and I planted one last fall in a damp shady area and it croaked over the winter.

So I'm still looking for the exact right spot for them.


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Lucas,

This coming winter will be the first time I've tried overwintering outside. Last winter, I had them in baskets and pots in the greenhouse. Right now, they are watered 40 minutes every other day by a sprinkler system and as I mentioned, they are planted in a raised bed.

Won't know until next spring how they do in this location. Of course, the sprinkler system will be shut down through the winter but the shortest days of the year will see that area of the bed in shade other than early morning. The large pipevines that shade it now will lose their leaves but the house will shade it during the shortest days of the winter. I'm hoping, if the bed drains well, that they will not rot in ground. I've got more seedlings started, so if I lose them, I'll have new plants ready for next year.

I'll report back next spring and let you know how they do.

~Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Mary,

Thanks so much for posting the picture and all of the information about the location it is in.

I had no idea what it looked like until I saw this picture. I guess I would have gotten around to googling it, but I like hearing about it and seeing it here from someone who is passionate about butterflies and their host plants.

Mechelle sent me some seed, but I haven't had any luck getting it to germinate. I REALLY want to be successful at growing this plant, so any further instructions you can share will be greatly appreciated. I have the seed planted (broadcast over the soil and smoothed in very lightly to make sure it had contact with the soil) in a slightly raised bed in really good, amended soil. I don't have a sprinkler system, but have tried to keep it moist in this killer heat and drought.

It is a beautiful plant, which makes me want it more!

Thanks again,
Betty


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Betty,

To germinate seeds, I usually make a mini greenhouse out of a 2 liter soda bottle. To begin, slice it in half and poke lots of drain holes in the bottom half (I use my mother's old ice pick). Fill with a good potting mix, water well and drain well, then lay your seed in, sprinkle very, very lightly a little dry potting soil over top, gently press down all over so the seed comes in good contact with the damp potting soil, then spritz with water until the dry portion is damp. If the potting mix needs to be moistened before placing your seeds, use warm water, which allows the potting medium to easily absorb the moisture.

Next remove the cap bottle top from the top half of the bottle, cut a slit up the side a little ways so you can lightly squeeze it to fit down inside the bottom half. This way, it will keep the potting soil damp, allow fresh air inside via the opening where the cap would normally be and being clear, it's easy to watch for germination. If it begins to look like the top of the potting soil is drying out, just spritz with water again. Someone told me that I should just poke the seed, pointy end down, into the soil and leave the flat end showing, then keep damp. I did try that last year and it worked too. It was just so hot this summer, I was afraid I'd let the seed dry out so tried this other way and some have germinated by just very lightly covering and keeping damp.

Another way that was suggested is to place some seed between a damp paper towel, place in a plastic baggie and put on top of the fridge or on top of the TIVO or VCR (where it is a bit warmer). Check regularly and move to potting soil when the seed begins to sprout. I have germinated seed with this method but don't remember if I tried it with the A fimbriata seed.

Another idea that came to mind today was to simply make the mini greenhouse, then place a smaller plastic seedling pot with damp potting mix down inside. I'm going to try that as it would make it very easy to transplant out of the seedling pot. I don't usually plant directly into them, because it is time consuming to keep them moist for seed germination.

You can also place a plastic seedling pot with damp potting soil and seeds into a clear plastic bag to help maintain moisture until the seeds germinate. If using this method, remember to poke some holes in the plastic bag, as you want some air movement.

None of these germination methods should be put into direct sunshine. They need to be kept in shade. Also, be certain to remove the tops of the mini greenhouse once the seedlings have germinated.

I've never had luck with direct sowing because of the type of weather we get here. We tend to have very heavy rain at times and it will either wash everything away or beat tiny seedlings right out of the ground. My folks called them 'gully washers'. My gardening area is small so using the small mini greenhouses works well for the amount of seed I plant. If your weather permits, planting directly should certainly work. The difficultly would be maintaining proper moisture for the seed until it germinates.

To label each seed pot, I use a short piece of plastic mini blind and write the name and date of planting with a perm marker, then stick it into the potting mix. I always think I'll remember what and when, but never do, so this is an inexpensive and easy way to label them. The mini blinds can easily be cut up using a pair of scissors.

I learned everything on these Gardenweb forums. If you have more questions, please ask and we'll try to help. ~Mary

I think this is a June 22 photo of the A fimbriata seedlings that were planted June 4. You can just barely see emerging first true leaves of these tiny seedlings. They are slow growers the first season. I will keep these in the greenhouse this winter, where they will go dormant, then grow strongly next season. They're some of my backup seedlings, in case my inground plants don't survive the winter.

here's an example, showing new Parsley seedlings germinated in homemade mini greenhouses :-) ... see the lids flipped over at the back, attached by a tiny uncut section of the bottle. If I use 2 liter soda bottles, I cut the top off completely, slit the top and insert into the bottom half.

here's a new batch of Rue seedlings in a mini greenhouse, planted Aug 8 and just now emerging


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Mary,

I went out this morning to check my seed bed and had 2 of these.

DSC04383

It looks similar.....is it?

I'm SO EXCITED!!!!


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

As far as geminating the seeds...I simply cast them where I want them where there is some debris or I lightly till the soil before I scatter it. It sometimes takes months to germinate & sometimes it doesn't come up until the next spring. In other words, be patient!!!
I have forgotten where I scattered it & it has come up in places that I forgot about because I had scattered them several years before. SOOOO don't give up on them. I think sometimes it helps to cold stratify the seeds but they will also germinate without it. One other thing...if you want to transplant it...it has a deep tap root almost like a carrot that needs to be dug up to move it...so be careful!
Mary, thanks for posting the picture!
I will have some seeds if anyone wants to trade!
I saw my first female PVST yesterday since early this spring...so hopefully, I'll get some eggs soon! :o)


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Woohoo, looks like a healthy baby A. fimbriata to me.

Keep an eye open. You may continue to have little seedlings pop up as they seem to germinate randomly over a period of time. My seed pods aren't mature yet but it looks like I'll have plenty of seed later this year to share. Little blooms show up all along the vines and most appear to produce a seed pod.

~Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

What an interesting and helpful thread!

Sherry


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Mary great photo and thank you for the mini green house details.

Your pipevine is beautiful contrasted against the ivy. I think I have seen this pipevine before and will now definitely keep my eyes open. It looks to make a great ground cover.

I had a pipevine swallowtail visit my yard a couple of weeks ago, they are certainly beautiful.


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

How sweet it is!!!

I've verified that I have a Monarch egg - AND - I have A. fimbriata seedlings!

Mary, Thanks for all of the information and pictures.
I am such a visual person and it really helps to see something instead of just reading about it.

Imabirdnut, Did you say years? Man. I'm not known for my patience. lol

I think I'll broadcast some more seed. I just have to wait until my DGSon comes home from his Dad's.
He is 7 and I had him walk on the seed bed after we spread the seed to make sure they hsd good contact with the soil. It worked, so I won't change our planting method.

Betty


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

I am so excited and reread this thread for the valuable information it contains. Thank you Mary.

Yesterday I remembered I too received seeds from Mechelle the seed fairy. I didn't remember the type of Aristolochia but did remember she said she hadn't had luck with the seeds and being a novice gardener, I was afraid to waste what I had so I put them aside until I had more knowledge.

After a search of my piles of important things, I unearthed the seeds and they are indeed Fimbriata! I am so excited to possibly be introducing this plant to my garden. I have followed Mary's green house directions and have five seeds germinating. I'm really excited. I look at my new "greenhouse" and feel this just may work! As soon as I have another juice bottle I am going to plant my remaining seeds. I feel like a gambler throwing the dice and going for broke or is it called going all in?

I feel really confident with the directions being so through.

Bring on the Pipevine!


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

kltampa,

Mechelle was my seed fairy, too! I told her if I ever had any luck with her generous gift of seeds, I would pass along her generosity.

These little vines are very prolific seed producers. There will be plenty of seed to share this fall so go ahead and try germinating the seed you have as we can send more, should you need them.

~Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

kltampa,

Congrats on your success! You might want to try direct seeding in the ground, too. It was really easy for me.

I have a rather steep hillside with shade and wanted to get my A. fimbtiata going there.

My grandson and I laid out a few brick in a loose U shape to keep everything from washing downhill, mixed up some rich soil, put it inside the U, spread the seed and he very gently walked across the planting bed to make sure there was good soil contact. He is 7 and weights ummm...50 to 80 lbs.

I watered it occasionally (when I remembered) with the hose nozzle set on shower.

It worked!

Keep us updated on how yours grows. I'm going to get a couple more spots planted as soon as he gets home from his dad's to help me. Man, I'm excited!

Betty


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Iamabirdnut, where in north Texas do you live? I'm in Bowie County. I should have PV swallowtails here, but so far, have only seen the blacks, a giant and a few tigers.

If pipevine is not invasive, I sure want to grow some here. We just have to be careful of invasive plants as we fight trumpet creeper, wild grape and especially greenbriar all the time. VINES! GAG! I DO encourage as many species of leps as possible, since we also have camping, nature trails and such. We just do not allow any caterpillar, butterfly or moth collecting, so as to protect our leps.

If the plant is not invasive and you end up with surplus seeds, please let me know. Thanks.


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A. fimbriata

I'm excited to report that yesterday a seedling broke ground (?) and today there are three.

I don't know why mine took so long to germinate but while waiting I read not to give up as sometimes it can. Recall I planted them somewhere around Aug. 17th.

Interestingly, I never had to water as Mary's greenhouse method provided enough moisture, there was always condensation.

Hopefully they will continue to grow and strengthen until this spring.

Thank you Mary & Mechelle; just another reason this board rocks!


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

kltampa,

SO happy to hear the seed are germinating for you and that the soda bottle greenhouse worked well for you. For me, it makes it so much easier to try and germinate seed using this method.

Yes, anyone attempting to germinate A fimbriata seed, please be patient. The last planting I made was July 17. One seed germinated after a bit but no more. I just left them alone other than keeping a check on the moisture level and in early Sept, 11 other seeds germinated, all planted back in mid July!

Since this is my first year growing them inground, I also want to report that I've seen absolutely no evidence of rooting along the little vines where they touch the soil. They just happily grow and bloom their little heads off. The vast majority of blooms also become little ridged seed pods, hanging like tiny watermelons all along the small vines. Now I'm anxious to see how well they overwinter in my area.

Question for those who grow them inground: Does it matter if the little root tuber extends above ground a bit during the winter season? There are some vines growing, where I can see the top of the root tuber with the vines protruding from the tuber, other vines root tubers are totally below the surface of the soil with the vines just growing from the soil surface.

I've been harvesting some of the seed pods and will happily share seed for a stamped self addressed envelope. If interested, please send me an email: mleek at sbcglobal dot net.

~Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

I have some a. fimbriata planted outside, the seeds germinated there (not where I had planted them-LOL) and we had an extremely cold, harsh winter last year. They came back just fine without any special protections. The temp was down to 21 degrees, three days in a row and maybe got to 33 those three days, so I would say it is fairly hardy.

I still have seeds for anyone that would like them for a SASE. I will post another message about the seeds since several people seem to want them now. Send me an email and I will get the info to you.

Mechelle


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Thank you, Mechelle, for this additional growing information. I'll just leave the tubers alone. I do have additional seedlings started that I will overwinter in the little greenhouse, in case mine don't come through the winter. However, it sounds like they may do just fine inground.

I can't stress how much I've enjoyed learning about and growing this little vine. Thank you once again for your kindness in sharing the seed with me. And the little pipevine cats thank you, too! They love those tender little leaves.

~Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Mary,

My experience is that the exposed tubers will freeze here in our 7a climate, so I put the pots in my greenhouse over the winter. You could also dig the tubers and protect them after the foliage dies. If I were leaving these in the ground, I would mulch very heavily.

sandy


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Thanks, Sandy. Your winter experience will be so helpful to anyone reading this thread.

Since I have potted replacement seedlings that will over winter in the Greenhouse, I'm going to try leaving them in ground this winter. If I can cut down on fall garden chores, it will be beneficial to my old body. I do plan to mulch the top of the soil around the plants with aged cut up oak leaves and will then lightly cover all with freshly fallen leaves for the winter. I have plants normally considered annuals here that will generally over winter for me if protected by a fluffy covering of freshly fallen Oak leaves. Those leaves just don't break down over the winter, so they provide a nice light insulation. We are actually in z7b, so on average, a bit warmer in winter than OKC. I grew up in OKC and have also lived in Alaska ... the cold in OKC can feel colder than average winter weather in Anchorage (winter just isn't as long or dark!:-)) Might have something to do with that cold Canadian wind blowing down through the plains.

I'll report back next spring with the results.

Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

TomatoWorm59, I am in Parker County & in 7B zone...we are about 10 degrees cooler than the DFW area.
mechelle_m is offering seeds & I have more plants that might have seeds still. I have only seen 1 male PVST lately hanging around so all my pipevines are doing well & should still produce seeds if I don't end up with hungry cats that like to eat them!

Mary, I usually make sure I keep a covering of leaves over my fimbriata plants. Last winter, it was the coldest it had been in 20 years here & got down as low as 6 degrees & 10 degrees F. All of my fimbriatas came back from root that were lightly protected with leaves. What are the coldest temps in your area? A lot of sites say A.fimbriata is only hardy to zone 8 but it has done great here for me with the help from my native Cedar Elm leaves. I have oaks too but they are mostly in the front yard.


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

imabirdnut,

We've only lived here the past five years and in that time, last winter was the coldest. We had some nights in the low teens with the following days only getting into the low 20's. I think that's a bit unusual here.

TomatoWorm59, besides Mechelle's kind offer, I also have freshly harvested seed of the A. fimbriata and happy to share. Between us, we should be able to provide seed to anyone who wants to try growing the little vines.

Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

The two sources I found said it's hardy to zone 7 so I've been trying to decide whether to risk it in zone 6. Sounds like it's iffy in zone 7, so growing it in 6 might be stretching it a bit too much. But I also read that it works well in hanging baskets and that's something I could stick in the garage over winter. I might try a couple in the ground with a lot of mulch too.
Mary if it's ok, I'll email you since Mechelle may already have a list of people to send seeds to. I'd really like to try it here.


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

I just ordered an A. fimbriata and planted it in full sun. After reading this thread, I am a little afraid that the hot Mississippi sun might be too much for it. I have lots of shade...I live in South Mississippi, and it stays hot hot hot all summer long...I was hoping that this plant would overwinter in the ground, and then really grow a lot next year. Do you think I should transplant it to a shadier area? I want it to live!! Thanks...


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

So pretty! It reminds me a lot of Asarum, which is native to this area. Asarum doesn't have white veins, unfortunately, but the leaf shape and growth habit are similar. It also looks a lot like Brunnera, which isn't related, to the best of my knowledge.

Pipevine swallowtails are a longshot for me, so I'm not planning on planting any, anytime soon. I do have Asarum, and I'm a little afraid that if I did get pipevine swallowtails, they would eat the Asarum, which is an alternate host. It is so slow growing! And once it is done with its spring flush of growth, it won't grow another leaf until next spring. One larva could wipe out an entire planting!


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Beth, my fimbriata grows very well in shade here in San Antonio. It has a carrot like root and comes back every year. Not sure, but you might consider waiting until spring to transplant it.


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Mary,
Thanks so much for the seeds! Should I try to plant them now, or wait until spring? And when should I sow the zinnia seeds? What a lovely surprise in the mailbox today! Thank you so much. I hope I will have something to share back with you someday when I get better at this gardening thing! Beth


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Beth,

You are most welcome.

Not knowing your exact growing conditions, I'd guess it might be best to wait until early spring before sowing or use the winter sowing method. You can learn about that type of seed germination on the Winter Sowing Forum here on GardenWeb. Many people find it to be the easiest way to germinate seed, as mother nature will take care of the timing. The A fimbriata will do very little growing the first year, mostly work on developing their roots, but with second year, they're off and running.

The zinnias are the variety that have really nice strong stems and are a good nectar source for butterflies and bees. Height about 24 - 30 inches. They should be sown in the spring, as they are an annual and will grow, bloom and die in one season.

Mary


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Question to Mary about the seeds...should I put them in the fridge until spring, or leave them at room temp? Or leave them in the planting room on my back porch? Thanks!! Beth


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RE: A. fimbriata - host for the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

I place my seed packets in a quart size zip top freezer bag and store in the fridge until ready to plant.

Mary


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