Butterfly plants in action

When it comes to butterfly plants, they talk about larval plants and nectar plants, but everybody seems to sweep under the rug the fact that larval plants are there TO BE EATEN. Today I found hundreds of brightly colored caterpillars chomping away on my coonties (Zamia pumila). If all goes well, they will turn into lovely echo moths (Seirarctia echo), and I'm letting them feast. To provide the nectar side of the equation, a gulf frittillary (Agraulis vanillae) conveniently stopped by to sip from my Vitex agnus castus. Sometime not long ago, it had done the same thing to a passion vine (Passiflora spp.) that those brightly colored caterpillars are doing to my coontie.
The caterpillars of Seirarctia echo feasting on coontie (Zamia pumila), our only native cycad.
A gulf fritllary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) sipping nectar from a chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus), a great plant for attracting bees and butterflies.

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