On Gardening: In praise of a $5 butterfly and its mistletoe

April 23, 2015 12:07 PM

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I remember it like yesterday. I returned from a Rotary Club meeting in Mission, Tex., to see a good sized group with cameras gathered around a patch of flowers at the National Butterfly Center there. I quickly went in and asked what were they seeing? The answer was a Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly. Today when I give a presentation on butterflies I typically call that one a $5 butterfly, in other words it is so showy it's worth the price of admission.

Despite the fact that this large hairstreak sporting iridescent colors may be found along the east coast from Florida to Maryland, west to Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, continuing to New Mexico, Arizona and up the west coast to Oregon it seems the gardening public hasn't paid attention. It is indeed...

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