Swallowtail Caterpillars and Rue

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Swallowtail caterpillars are decorating, and eating, the rue planted here and there in my garden beds.


The caterpillars are beautiful, and contrast so well against the blue green foliage of the rue. The yellow on the caterpillars’ body even matches the shade of the rue blossoms.


I don’t mind that they are making a meal of the rue’s tender leaf tips or have munched off some of the flowers. Rue (Ruta graveolens) easily self-sows in my Connecticut gardens. A few volunteer rue have sprung up here and there from seeds dropped by the mother plants last year. These caterpillars are actually doing me a favor. Their meal of rue flowers and leaf tips means less deadheading for me later this season. Plus, I anticipate the joy of watching black swallowtail butterflies (Papilio polyxenes) flit about the gardens after the caterpillars have their fill of food and undergo their amazing transformation.







Continue reading at Joene’s Garden.







by & filed under Local, Science, Earth & Stars.