|Black swallowtail cats in my dill.|
Why do the native black swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on my exotic dill and parsley?This butterfly species (Papilio polyxenes) always lays its eggs on members of the carrot family (Apiaceae) and there are any number of natives that they could use to feed their cats, such as water hemlock, cowbane, or blacksnakeroot. But maybe my dill just tastes better than those mostly poisonous relatives. Perhaps our native plants are smarter than dill and produce chemicals that moderate herbivore activity. After all, dill has been bred to taste good to the human palate.
|Swamp milkweed (Asclepias perennis)|