Took a little stroll in Ramsey Park the other day and if I didnt' know better, I would have thought it was Spring! Everything was in bloom - and the butterflies were this - Sulfers, Queens and many like the picture below. I think this butterfly is a Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia. According to the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, it is the most widespread and abundant "checkerspot" of the Americas. Its range is SE California east to Texas and south to Argentina. Habitat is subtropical thorn forests, desert hills, weedy edges of agricultural fields, river bottomlands, pinyon pine and oak woodlands, parks and gardens - in other words, just about everywhere there are plants!
I can usually find any Valley native plant I'm looking for in Trees, Shrubs, & Cacti of South Texas, by Everitt & Drawe - the not this pretty white flower. I'm a huge fan of white flowers - they don't photgraph worth a darn, but they sure are beautiful at dawn and dusk. The RGV Master Naturalists always have a booth at the RGV Birding Festival. They are certain to know this plant!
And of course, there was lots of Turks's Cap. The Turk's Cap, Malvaviscus arboreus var. Drummondii, inspired me so that we went straight to Grimsell's to pick up a few pots for my garden. I can't decide whether I was blown away by the number of blooms or the number of butterflies!
I love Turk's cap--it makes a great dry shad plant. However, be careful--it can be aggressive, and if you ever decide to dig it up, it is a bear.
I wish I could say there were that many beautiful blooms around here. Thanks for sharing yours. The checkerspot photo is beautiful too. All our butterflies have also migrated south until next season. I guess I'll just have to start visiting the "southern" blogs more often (like yours) now to get my gardening fix!
Very nice. I'm not familiar with either the butterfly or Turk's Cap, or even the white one. I especially like your white flower photo in your sidebar!
There seems to be more butterflies around now than at any other time of the year. Your flowers are pretty not only to us but to the butterflies, too.
SUSAN - thanks for the warning on Turks Cap, I'll have to watch out for it taking over. . . .
KATHLEEN - Keep checking back to your "southern" blogs. We tend to have flowers 12 months a year!
AIYANA - You've reminded me that I meant to write a little something on all my sidebar pictures!
JAN - You're so right - the butterflies do appreciate the blooms as much or more than we do. The hummingbirds too! I have never seen as many butterflies as we have right now.
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