Z is for Zebra Swallowtail

Beautiful, isn’t it? We feature this beautiful member of the swallowtail butterfly group each year because in a week of hard-to-find nature letters, it’s a staple. But it’s also harder to find this butterfly. Its caterpillars eat only one food, the leaves of the Common Paw Paw, Asimina triloba.

This understory tree lives with its roots in wet soil, along streams and rivers.

At least those leaves are huge–10 to 12 inches long and 4-6 inches wide at the middle.

The dark red flowers bloom in the spring and turn into a fruit lumpy with large seeds in the fall. Maybe you can find a tree with caterpillars feeding on it this year.

We’ve had a great time posting this year’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge! Thanks to our many readers for joining us for a look at nature in suburbia. We hope it helps you to enjoy nature around your home!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Z is for Zebra Swallowtail

  1. I have had the joy of seeing this lovely creature in my garden. Interestingly, I never saw the flower of the paw paw tree yet our neighbor has one. I get to enjoy seeing the squirrels tear apart the fruit in winter. We used to call the fruit ‘monkey brains’ when I was a kid. ~grin~ Unfortunately, the neighbor has talked of cutting the tree down. So far he’s only trimmed it.

    Congratulations on finishing the challenge! It’s good to have you back. I’m sure I’ll *see* you again soon. Be well!

Drop us a nut to find!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s