And thus my swallowtail butterfly farm begins

When I sprinkled the seeds of this lovely ‘Dukat Leafy Dill’ from Renee’s Garden, I was hoping this would happen. ‘Dukat’ is said to be leafy, delicious and a little slower to bolt. I had room for them to fluff up between the Gladiolus corms in my second trough, which this year is more of a cutting garden.

But my secret hope was to raise a family of swallowtail butterflies. Hooray! I’m now the proud mum of seven eggs.

It probably won’t be certain which type of swallowtail they are until they hatch. But because these are on something in the big carrot family, the beautiful Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) is a strong probability. See how different the various swallowtail caterpillars look at this link to iNaturalist. The stripey one is my fave.

Anyone care to place bets?

Looking for the tiny dots is like a game of “Where’s Eggo?”


    1. I’m a first-timer with eggs on dill – although I have eaten dill on eggs (and now that I think of it perhaps, unknowingly, the other way around). Looking forward to the big reveals once the eggs hatch. Google says in 10-13 days.

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I haven’t seen many black swallowtails around, but they seem like the likely source. I do love a mystery.

  1. I grow fennel, parsley, and rue to attract the black swallowtail caterpillars, and I’ve found a few. Also golden alexander, though I’ve seen conflicting accounts on whether it is really a host plant. A couple of black swallowtails have been a pretty constant presence this summer. I gave up on dill because the rabbits would chew it down to the ground, but I like the idea of just scattering some seeds to see what happens.

  2. Hi Hele,
    Just FYI, Black swallowtails are the only Ontario swallowtail that uses carrot family plants as a host plant. The Canadian tiger swallowtail larvae feeds on tree species Willow, Ash, poplars and cherries. Eastern tiger swallowtail feeds on tulip tree, cherries and common hop tree. And the Giant swallowtail feeds on hop tree, Prickly Ash and common garden rue and possibly gas plant. ( Source ROM Field guide to butterflies of Ontario).
    Anyway, your eggs are definitely that of the black swallowtail if on dill.
    I will have to look for that dill as I find regular dill bolts and dies out very quickly in my garden.

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