Welcomed (?) Guests

A week ago I noticed that I had a few uninvited guests on my pot of parsley. They looked an awful lot like the various larval stages of Black Swallowtail butterflies (Papilio polyxenes), which are known to have a mighty taste for parsley. They come every August, invited or not.

Here we are a week later. Where has the parsley gone? Where have the cute little caterpillars gone? I’ve looked for chrysalis, but so far I’ve not found any.


I guess I should wait awhile before planting another batch of parsley…at least until I begin to see Black Swallowtails flitting about.



About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in Stallings, NC with his wife, in close proximity to six of his eight grandchildren.
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13 Responses to Welcomed (?) Guests

  1. FlowerAlley says:

    Gardening is not just about plants. I love this.


  2. I hope they find more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie says:

    Sounds like some really exciting visitors John, I hope you get to see the adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. After dining the least they can do is return to flit about the garden, showing off, adding beauty.


  5. Cathy Testa says:

    Parsley has been one of my favorite offerings this season in some containers – I am still clipping it every time I am preparing a meal – and what a surprise it would be to see those on them, and a not so nice surprise to see all the parsley gone – but I know how important it is to share our bounties with the good guys!


  6. Christina says:

    Yes, definitely swallowtails, ours feed on fennel but I’ve never seen very much damage as they tend to only be in ones or twos, I’d say grow lots more parsley even if it is only for them.


  7. Beautiful little guys ! Thanks for the tip that the Black Swallowtail caterpillars like parsley !


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