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Seasonal post-bloom fine-feathered achenes

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Old man's beard (Clematis drummondii)

Old man’s beard (Clematis drummondii)

It’s getting on past halfway through summer and the Clematis drummondii are starting to show off their old man’s beards – which is interesting, since this plant has both male and female plants – the stamens are sterile on the female plants, and the stigma on the male plants are probably sterile too, I would guess – haven’t seen it documented anywhere yet.

Another common name for these flowers is Virgin’s Bower, or Texas Virgin’s Bower. Go figure.

Agraulis vanillae Gulf Fritillary Butterfly larva

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Agraulis vanillae Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Passiflora sp

Agraulis vanillae Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Passiflora sp

 

While the Gulf Fritillary, as the name implies, is native to the area surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, but its range actually extends far beyond that. It is found as far south as Argentina and as far north as San Fransisco, according to Wikipedia.

Here it is on one of the Passiflora vines, one which is not native to the part of Central Texas where I live. It seems that one cannot find locally native plants unless one digs them up, which can’t be both ethical and legal, or manages to find some that have gone to seed and from which a small taking of seed would not endanger reproduction in the natural state.

 

Maurandella antirrhiniflora-Snapdragon Vine

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Maurandella antirrhiniflora-Snapdragon Vine

leaves and flower

Bignonia capreolata – Crossvine

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Bignonia capreolata - Crossvine

Bignonia capreolata – Crossvine

The Crossvine is blooming, draped across the Eastern Redbud, and it seems to be handling the drought with less stress than the Redbud.   The blooming period is from March through May. It attracts hummingbirds (if there happen to be any in the suburban desert) and butterflies that feed on the nectar. Which reminds me – I saw my first Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) of the season over the weekend (Saturday to be exact). Oddly enough, it was feeding on the Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora, but apparently not long enough for me to grab the camera, Also spotted a couple of Red Admiral  (Vanessa atalanta) butterflies yesterday and did grab my camera, but the creature wouldn’t settle down long enough for me to get a shot. So here’s the Bignonia capreolata instead.

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