Passion Flowers and Butterflies

Our fields are filled with Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata) which is the Tennessee state wildflower. It's a beautiful plant that looks like it belongs in an exotic, tropical garden rather than filling the fields of Tennessee.

Passion Flower

It's a beautiful plant in its own right but it is also the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.

Gulf Fritillary

It's a beautiful, orange butterfly with amazing silver markings on the underside of its wings.

While this butterfly enjoys the nectar from many different flowers, it seeks out the Passion Flower Vine to lay its eggs so that the caterpillars can eat the leaves of the vine.

Gulf fritillary caterpillar
Gulf fritillary caterpillar 2
Gulf Fritillary
Gulf fritillary eclosing from its chrysalis

This butterfly is hanging from its chrysalis and is drying its wings before it flies off to start the whole life cycle over again.

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