I’m thrilled that at least one Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly is visiting the garden this year. I’ve seen them laying eggs and mysteriously fluttering while clutching a Boltonia (see video below).
Thanks to Justin Durango, designer of the rain garden and water feature, for insisting that I plant White-Veined Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia fimbriata) despite it not being native. Some of the tropical Pipevines will poison Caterpillars who aren’t evolved to eat them, but A. fimbriata is fine for North Carolina Swallowtails. The Caterpillars store the toxins in the leaves to ward off hungry Birds, just like Monarch Caterpillars protect themselves by eating Milkweed.