Butterflies and passion vines.

Last summer I planted passion vines on a trellis behind my raised bed garden.  It was an attempt to provide shade from the hot afternoon sun.  They did well, but froze back over the winter.  This spring they sent out runners and started climbing again, but this year we have an abundance of Gulf Frittilary Butterflies  that are seeking out these vines,  and their larva apparently love eating it.  I am torn between removing them from the vine by hand to save the plants or allowing them to happily eat to their heart’s content and hope the vines recover afterwards.  I have settled on doing a little bit of both.   If I can keep the vines alive, my hope is that in a few years there will be enough vines to host the butterflies and enjoy the beautiful flowers.

Below are several caterpillars that I picked off the vines with the leaves and flowers they were eating.

caterpillars on passion vine

Close up of a very hungry caterpillar.

gulf fritillary (Agraulis_vanilla) caterpillar

Gulf Fritillary pupa

gulf fritillary (Agraulis_vanilla)  pupa

Gulf Frittillary butterfly on lantana



Albert Phineas Drache

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