Bug of the Week: Large Orange Sulphur Butterfly

Back in March I found a lovely large orange sulphur butterfly. At the time I speculated it might lay eggs on our desert fern.

desert-fern-butterflyThis week I found this faded specimen. It looks pretty worn.

desert-fern-butterfly-2It even has slight tears in the edges of its wings.

Regardless, it was obviously a female. How did I know?


butterfly-egg-sulfur-desert-fernBecause she was laying eggs on the desert fern tree. Yes, that white speck is a freshly-laid butterfly egg.

Will the eggs hatch? It is awfully hot and dry. Only time will tell.


desert-fern-chewed-leavesAlthough I found evidence that something had chewed on the desert fern leaves, there was no sign of a caterpillar. Possibly the caterpillars hide during the day, but I think it is more likely they fell victim to the paper wasps constantly searching our plants. The wasps specialize in catching caterpillars to feed to their own offspring.

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Mystery Seed of the Week 214

Sometimes the identity of the plant is a mystery to me, too.

mystery-seed-214Take this legume I found growing behind the local home improvement store.

mystery-seed-pods-214The tree is covered with these pods.

It took me several visits over several months to finally figure out its identity. Do you recognize what plant these seeds are from? If you choose to, please leave a comment with your ideas.

New mystery seeds and Seed of the Week answers are posted on Tuesdays.

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Seed of the Week: Hooker’s Evening Primrose

Our mystery seeds from last week were from a Hooker’s evening primrose, Oenothera elata subsp. hookeri.

hooker's-primrose-flower-1The first thing that catches your eye when you see this plant are the brilliant yellow flowers.

hookers-primrose-flower-and-podsYou have to be quick, however, because the flowers open in the evening and close later the next day. Because they open in the evening, their nectar is a favorite food of moths.

hookers-primrose-more-plantsHooker’s evening primroses are perennials that are native to western North America.

hookers-primrose-plantsUnlike some of their low-growing relatives, these primroses may reach four or more feet tall.

hooker's primroseHooker’s evening primroses are wonderful additions to moonlight or scent gardens because of their lovely nighttime fragrance.

Have you ever grown primroses? What do you think of them?



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