All hail The Cosmos. We don’t mean those celestial bodies floating in the heavens, although they are certainly not without merit. It is those in the botanical universe of which we speak. Not only are they giving the brightest color shot in the late summer garden, laughing gaily as many plantings around them sulk and droop from lack of rain, they attract a wide variety of friends. Note the tiny fashion forward striped leg extending seductively from behind the stamens of Cosmos sulphureus ‘Bright Lights’.
It has been noticed that so many of the butterflies partaking of the delights of the Cosmic Oranges share that hue with the petals. Our friendly
Pearl Crescent Silvery Checkerspot, thanks Randy, seems content while sipping the sweetness, allowing the camera toting gardener to creep closely to capture its image in pixels.
How fortunate are we to have both. The Variegated Fritillary cares little about rankings or comparisons, and the Cosmos hardly wins The Most Beautiful Flower award. It matters not to the humans enjoying the spectacle of life moving bravely onward.
Those needing a butterfly fix may simply cast a glance at the planting opposite the garage deck ramp, where the copper bowl in the midst offers a drink to the thirsty with a rock on which to perch. There is a Buckeye in the upper left quadrant and a Variegated Fritt in the lower right quadrant. Or could that be the elusive Gulf Fritillary?
The host plant for the larvae of the Gulf Fritillary is the Passiflora alliance. This creature is food specific, unlike other butterflies such as the skippers which are generalists. Without the weedy and somewhat invasive Passionflower, there will be none of the crimson orange with black spiked caterpillars that will magically transorm into the same colored flutterby. Last year not a single Gulf Fritt was seen in the garden even though the passionflower vine was allowed to colonize the garage deck railing area. There was a welcome back party held this year over by the Fairy Gazebo after the sighting, in case anyone was wondering.
A post was written about the first year planting of the Cosmic Orange Cosmos that can be seen by clicking here-Cosmic Cosmos Confusion.