Swell swallowtail

Butterflies, Butterfly larval plant

!!!!black swallowtail larvae by felicity
Felcity Rask (Class of 2015) sent this beautiful photograph of a late stage black swallowtail butterfly (Papilo polyxenes asterius) on mockbishopsweed (Ptilimnium capillaceum), one of its many larval host plants, near the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail. Also known as herb William or sweet William, mock bishopsweed is a native annual of sunny, wet places.

Ken Gonyo (Class of 2012) identified and pointed out this plant (& likely the black swallowtail butterfly, too) flourishing in the ditches along Olso Road. The black swallowtail is a common butterfly and is sometimes considered a pest, as it consumes many plants the carrot/dill/celery family (Apiaceae) as larval host plants. Ken describes plants in this family as dill-y looking for their characteristic inflorescences know as umbels (think about the ribs of an umbrella). Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) is an emblematic member of this family and a larval host plant for the black swallowtail.