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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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Wednesday - September 14, 2011

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Vines
Title: Is Passiflora 'Purple Haze' a host to Gulf Frittilary butterflies?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is the passion flower purple haze (pasionaria purple haze) a host plant to gulf frittilary butterflies as is the passiflora incarnata passion flower?

ANSWER:

Butterflies and Moths of North America lists the larval hosts of Agraulis vanillae (Gulf fritillary) as "various species of passion-vine including maypops (Passiflora incarnata) and running pop (P. foetida).The Department of Developmental and Cell Biology at the University of California Irvine's Butterflies and Their Larval Foodplants lists the larval food for the Gulf fritillary as Passiflora spp. and Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension's A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects also lists Passiflora spp. as the larval food source.

Passiflora 'Purple Haze' is a hybrid between Passiflora caerulea, a native of Brazil and Argentina and Passiflora amethystina, another South American nativeSince the Gulf fritillary's range extends from South America through Central America into the southern US, I can see no reason why Passiflora 'Purple Haze' wouldn't be an appropriate host for its larvae.

 

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