Ok, technically caterpillers. But close enough.

So back in 2019 I planted some Bronze Fennel, Snap dragon flowers, and some random annual flowers in the tractor tire that used to be a strawberry bed. I didn’t really expect them to come back, we’re borderline growing area for both the fennel and snapdragons, but I wasn’t going to complain if they did come back.

Last summer, when I went to plant some tropicals in there, just because I needed the color, I was delighted to see the bronze fennel was coming back up. One of the points of growing it was that its supposed to be popular among Swallowtail butterflies, and who doesn’t like butterflies?

This year, when I went to go plant some more tropicals in there, I realized that not only had the fennel survived the winter, it was spreading! Well then, that works.

I was even more delighted last week when I realized that the weeds peeking around the edges of the weed barrier weren’t weeds as such, but infact snapdragon flowers!

So today I went out and pulled out the remains of the weed-barrier, and pulled out the few actual weeds that were growing in there.

And in the process discovered at least 3 big green and black caterpillars munching away on the fennel!

Google tells me this is most likely an Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar!

Well then, I’ll be keeping an eye out for cocoons!

3 thoughts on “Butterflies!”

  1. is that variety of fennel edible? Any idea how one harvests the seeds? Fennel seed is a nice licorice-like flavor for some recipes.

    • Bronze fennel is edible. I’ve never done it, but there are a variety of products for bagging over flower heads to save the seeds of flowers and the like, I assume they’d work on this too.

  2. Those are nice surprises, getting the fennel to come back, and the caterpillar. Those Eastern Black Swallowtails are so pretty.

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