Porterweed for Butterflies

There are eight or more Porterweed plants (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) scattered throughout the garden. Only one red/coral plant remains, overwintered and resprouted. Last year, there were more of the red than of the blue. None of the red cuttings survived. Some blue cuttings were potted, some grew tall and leggy in vases of water. The tips were rooted when the weather turned warm and the long leafless stems discarded.

Gulf Fritillary on Porterweed.

Gulf Frit near top; Dogface Sulphur toward the bottom.

Spicebush Swallowtail in silhouette; look closely upper left to see a Gulf Frit.

When the clusters of blossoms bloom all the way to the end, the spikes dry and are full of seeds.

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2 Comments

  1. donna

     /  August 7, 2009

    Nice that you know the names of your butterflies. I refer to all orange colored bf as Monarchs. Too lazy to get out my butterfly identification book. Porterweed, another plant I'm unfamiliar with. Thanks for introducing me.

  2. Hà Xuân

     /  August 7, 2009

    Nell, do you plant this porterweed or is it a volunteer in your garden? We have the same thing here but I never thought of planting it. Maybe I should, for butterflies.

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