So Nutmeg here, trading days with Ol’ Wally. We’ve come to the end of month of blogging with the Blogging A to Z Challenge. As has become a bit of a tradition here, we are ending our postings with a Zebra Swallowtail. It’s a beautiful butterfly, one of Ms. Flora’s favorites and…honestly, there just aren’t that many local animals or plants with Z names!
These beautiful local butterflies do fit the water theme of our regular Thursday column because they are seen most often along streams and rivers.
Why, you should ask?
Because the caterpillars feed exclusivly on Paw Paw leaves, and the Common Paw Paw, Asimina triloba, grows in damp, rich soils along water.
It’s one of the more nondescript, small, understory trees in floodplain forest, but if you are out hiking in the next week look around all that new greenery and see if you can spot the maroon flowers hanging below the leaves. Then in the fall for the pawpaw fruits…if we don’t find them first! They are so very good!
(But please don’t eat them on a squirrel’s say-so. Check into any wild foods before you humans try them!)