Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print
theparsley

Asarum canadense for pipevine swallowtails?

7 years ago

I'm working on finalizing my spring planting list and researching a few native plants for shade I might slot into my little garden. I've run across a few references to Asarum canadense ("wild ginger") as a host plant for pipevine swallowtails, though other sources don't mention that and only talk about Aristolochia species.

Has anyone here seen pipevine swallowtail caterpillars show up on Asarum?

Comments (16)

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No, it is not a host plant as I have tried it with a few females for oviposition and they do not recongize it as a host plant and the caterpillars dont eat it either. Which stinks because it grows crazy up here.

  • 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I wound up going slightly non-native on this one plant choice and buying an Asarum europaeum (sp?) on account of the cool shiny leaves. Bought plenty of other natives for both hosting and feeding of fluttery visitors!

  • 7 years ago

    It has been discussed here many times. Nobody here has had any success with it. I've tried a few times but I have yet to try it with cats straight out of the egg. I've never totally written it off because I've seen some places I trust say it works. There are regional differences in the same species and one of those differences can be their diet.

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/1784173/ginger-for-pipevine-swallowtails

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/1765189/host-plant-for-pipevine-swallowtail

  • 7 years ago

    At the moment, I haven't got anything else growing to attract pipevines to lay their eggs, so I doubt they'd turn up for Asarum alone anyway.

  • 7 years ago

    So one more note on the host issue, if it was I would like to believe the PVS would follow the range of their host plant. Which is a lot more north the the range of the PVS, but never say never, I thought I would never get Tiger swallowtail caterpillars and then they really started to show up.......

  • 7 years ago

    Thats great you are going native! I have golden alexzander, heart leafed alexzander, and also water hemlock as native host plants. For some reason or another they love the water hemlock and grow big and quick when they eat it so I do not know if thats a preffered hostplant or if they even have one.

    Cheers

    Jacob

  • 7 years ago

    Water hemlock is deadly to humans isn't it. I think it's as deadly as poison hemlock,but the caterpillars are able to neutralize the toxins,amazing! The caterpillars have a smelly chemical defense against predators and it contains plant toxins they have stored. I think that's why they prefer dill and fennel because they both are more aromatic than parsley and cilantro and thus contain more toxins they can use for defense.

  • 7 years ago

    Yes water hemlock is deadly, but only if you ingest it. But the black swallowtails just absolutly love it, first and last eggs of the season on it, and also have eggs through out the season.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Aristolochia fimbriata looks very similar to asarum canadense. I wonder if somewhere along the line people have confused the plants and it has stuck that asarum c. is a host plant.

    Not b/c of butterflies, but I have tried to grow asarum, canadense and the English, unsuccessfully. I absolutely crazy about round leaves, just love them.

  • 7 years ago

    Nasturtium leaves are round,great in salads and a host plant to cabbage whites. I think there are close subspecies of native wild Ginger further south. I had one with silver markings on the leaves,but the climate here in Illinois wasn't warm enough.

  • 7 years ago

    Pipevine and wild ginger are both in the family Aristolochiaceae so that is another reason I have not written off wild ginger yet.


  • 7 years ago

    Jay, I hate to say I might be a little resentful of a butterfly... But I have grown so many parsley family plants for swallowtails, and almost all I have seen this year are cabbage whites. Not going to give up. I would grow nasturtiums and cornflower every year for salads even if they weren't for butterflies.


  • 7 years ago

    Kran, same story here. No BS cats the past couple years; even though I keep adding more Apiaceae species. I have seen small groups of BS cats that were minute; and the next day when I would come to collect them to put in the tent; they were gone. I don't know if it's yellow jackets doing it? I am getting interested in growing more species of Milkweed for the Monarchs,but I think growing more nectar plants and getting the government to totally ban nicotinicide herbisides ( which are harming bees and butterflies everywhere ) is just as important as growing more Milkweed. Scientists now can tell that the availability of Asclepius species doesn't account for the sharp decline in Monarch populations, ( over the last few decades ). Nasturtiums put out so many leaves, at such a fast rate, that a small CW cat won't be able to spoil any potential salad greens. Which part of the cornflower do you eat? You are talking about Centauria cyanus, the blue flowered one? As far as I know; no kind of caterpillars eat the blue cornflower. I suppose maybe Painted Ladies could? Butterflies love nectaring on it though. Happy 4th !!!

  • 3 years ago

    No it is not. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/pipevine_swallowtail.htm Explained here. Was a misidentification a long time ago.

  • last month

    OK re the Chicagoland peeps..... I'm in DuPage County and have plenty of Pipevine Swallowtails. Maybe because I have Dutchman's Pipe vine planted for them.