The Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor, is a beautiful butterfly that has an upper surface of iridescent blue or blue-green on its hind-wing. The underside of the hind-wing has a row of 7 round orange spots in an iridescent blue field.
Aristolochia macrophylla – commonly known as Dutchman’s Pipe, is native to the eastern United States and is the primary food for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly.
The vine gets its name from the small pipe-like flowers that hide in the dense foliage.
The beautiful heart shaped leaves grow on old wood, and when the vine is established it will cover a structure providing dense shade.
It grows at Belmont on the arbor by the Pavilion where the “pipes” and the larva are easily viewed.
The adults feed on flowers like Beebalm, Monarda sp., Phlox, Phlox paniculata, and plants in the Verbenaceae family, such as Verbena, Lantana and Purpletop Vervain, all which are abundant in our gardens and native grass fields.
The egg masses have not been spotted on thee vines yet this year, but we are keeping a watch and will report any
sightings to Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA). This organization has undertaken an ambitious effort to collect, store, and share butterfly species information and occurrence data. You can participate by taking and submitting photographs of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars.
Below is a link to a short video that explains the importance of the Pipevine plant to the survival of this gorgeous butterfly.