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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Monday - August 24, 2009

From: Ponder, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Pipevine (Aristolochia sp.) found in Denton County Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am almost positive that I have numerous pipevine swallowtail in my garden in Denton County, TX. I read that the host plant for the larva is almost exclusively pipevine. Would any kind of pipevine be growing wild in my area? If so, which one? The butterflies are so fresh, they must be hatching here. I'm really curious!

ANSWER:

There are two species of pipevine plants that occur in Denton County Texas according to the USDA Plants Database:

Aristolochia tomentosa (woolly dutchman's pipe) and more photos

Aristolochia erecta (swanflower) and more photos

Some people have also been growing tropical species of Aristolochia in their gardens in the Houston area so it is possible that the butterflies have found these growing in gardens in Denton County.  The most popular ones are Aristolochia elegans (Calico flower), A.grandiflora (Pelican flower), and A. fimbriata.  I am, however, a bit skeptical that these tropical species would survive outdoors as far north as Denton County.

Mr. Smarty Plants recently answered some other questions about the Battus philenor (Pipevine swallowtail) and its host plants.  You can read them at the following links: #4460, #3948 and #430.


Aristolochia tomentosa

Aristolochia erecta

Aristolochia erecta

Aristolochia erecta

 

 

 

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