amaryllis papillio
2008-03-12. My butterfly amaryllis finally rebloomed. It’s been a long, long wait.

March 12th, 2008
Hippeastrum papilio, butterfly amaryllis

The butterfly amaryllis is quite striking. I would say that it has been worth the wait, except…more than seven years! I’d love it just as much if it bloomed every year. Really, dear, I would.

amaryllis papillio

A native of Brazil, my butterfly amaryllis has never gone dormant, although it looks a bit ratty after a long, hot Austin summer. I’ve heard some advice that Austinites can plant them in the ground as we do our more hardy Hippeastrums, the St. Joseph’s lilies. I don’t think I’ll bet against the Texas weather.

Garden History

At Gardens buy the amaryllis that I first saw and liked in the catalog. [2011-01-24. Maybe I actually got this from Dutch Gardens. I find a label for one with this description. Or maybe Gardens was carrying bulbs from Dutch Gardens.]

“Brightly striped maroon and ivory petals with a chartreuse background.”

Pot it, after soaking the bulb in sea weed mix.

First flower opens completely.

Last day of bloom.

Divide the butterfly amaryllis into two pots. It was incredibly pot bound. I’ve heard that they prefer to be pot bound, but I don’t think they mean like this. I had to rip out a lot of roots to separate them.
amaryllis papillio
2006-09-06. The butterfly amaryllis and three daughters sit on top of the pot they were in.

First flower.

photo: question mark butterfly
Question mark butterflies, Polygonia interrogationis, are attracted to hackberry trees.

April 21st, 2006
April Showers Bring Question Marks

We had wild storms last night and good soaking rain. Today I spent all afternoon enjoying weeding in the garden. It’s not a chore when the ground is so moist and giving. All sorts of butterflies were out, too.

I’m ashamed to say that I know almost no butterflies by name. Nor do I find the internet a good tool for learning about them because the sites I visited assume that you’re starting with a name.

So I can’t pay homage to butterflies as I should. To know something’s name is to distinguish it from all else. Butterflies remain to me more of a general idea than groups of specific instances. The only way I can “see” what I’m looking at is to take a photo.

Maybe one of you can tell me this ones name, so that when next I see it, I’ll smile in recognition.

Swallowtail caterpillar
2005-04-14. Swallowtail caterpillars on bronze fennel.

October 24th, 2003
Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)

Dateline: 2003-10-24

Planted some smokey bronze fennel from Renee’s Garden (500mg for $2.49) in the vegetable garden, which I use for starting seeds over the winter because it is the sunniest and warmest part of the garden by January, after all the leaves have fallen.

Notes from the seed packet.

“Striking bronze fennel has 4 to 5 plumes of filigreed coppery leaves and lacy golden flower umbels that ripen mellow anise-flavored seeds.
“These plants are stunning additions to flower or herb beds and are major nectar hosts for many butterfly species. Season seafood, salads or cooked vegetables with sprigs of the feathery copper-bronze leaves. Tea made from the aromatic leaves or sweet seeds soothes upset stomachs and calms the nerves.”

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