Several years ago, while visiting the former house of fellow garden blogger, Pam Penick of Digging, my eye was drawn to the snapdragon vine, Maurandya antirrhiniflora, growing on her dovecote. The following year I bought a 4" pot of the vine which I trained up a trellis near the patio. The vine never grew well and the flowers were very small, probably due to lack of water, and this year I pulled it out.
Then at the nursery one day I spotted a snapdragon vine with much larger flowers. The tag said Snapdragon vine 'giant purple'. I snapped it up and planted it in a pot in front of another trellis.
Its flowers were indeed much larger but I had no idea for the bonus I was going to receive with this plant. A common buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia, came into the garden and was busy flitting around this area. I couldn't get a photo of her because she wouldn't sit still. But I did a little research and learnt that this plant is a host to the larva of the buckeye. So that's what she was up to. Sometime later I spotted a minute caterpillar on one of the leaves.
I have been watching closely for days and this morning counted 5. Three are at the top of the plant which is looking a little ragged.
I shall be watching carefully for the chrysalis to appear and then there will be 5 little buckeyes in the garden and maybe no plant left if they all get busy!
How Hardy Souls Wait for Spring
4 hours ago