Saturday, August 5, 2017

New Exotic Wildflower Has Benefits

(From top to bottom: Great Purple Hairstreak, Zebra Longwing, Black-dotted Spragueia, Gulf Fritillary)

There has been a lot of heavy breathing in the native plant community during the last few years about the appearance of another tropical exotic.
This one is Praxelis clematidea. It vaguely resembles some native wildflowers, but has a telltale scent of cat urine that clinches the identification.
It thrives in disturbed areas and is likely spread by mowing equipment because fire lanes are where I'm finding it here.
What I'm also finding is a lot of butterflies and other pollinators on it.
Today I found 13 species of butterflies, two species of moths and two species of wasps nectaring on this plant in the fire lane during a brief visit.
Interestingly, this was only my second sighting of Great Purple Hairstreak.