On a recent post, I talked about how I discovered caterpillars consuming the flowers to my Sourwood tree. I was determined to find out what they were so I collected one and put it in a jar on my desk. A few days passed and the caterpillar formed a chrysalis, the smallest chrysalis I've ever seen! And roughly ten days later, it has emerged, no surrogate ant colony needed.
Celastrina ladon complex. Basically there's like 4 or 5 butterflies that all look seemingly identical to one another and have a huge variety of host plants. What makes them a complex is that it's unclear how many species are involved, which ones use what host plants, and how each host plant alters the appearance of the caterpillar and the adult form. Overall this butterfly uses the flower buds Dogwoods, New Jersey Tea, and a few others but some host plants such as the Sourwood are unknown, which might suggest there are more species out there than the initial 4 or 5 believed to be in existence.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Granted the ones I have planted in clay are doing perfectly fine. In fact, at the risk of calling myself a hypocrite, the main patch I first planted in the sand seemed like it went through shock. The plants were lanky, wilted, seemed to demand more water. But that was the first year, now that they've got their roots established they seem to be growing equal to if not better than the ones I started in clay.
In the book "Honey Plants of North America" they generalize onions into a simple paragraph, almost treating them like a cliff note. Granted the book was published in 1926 but it's still a publication well worth owning (though their taxonomy is almost 100 years out of date). In it they write, "Valuable for honey when grown for seed... ...The honey is amber-colored, and the peculiar onion odor and flavor almost disappear as it ripens. The flowers are white." But this refers to Allium cepa the common white onion grown the world over, not our native Allium cernuum and they pretty much skip over every other species though I think it's safe to say bees like all members of this family.