Are You Surprised that Common Teasel is Critical to So Many Butterflies?

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

She’s furiously nectaring on teasel wildflowers in Raccoon Creek State Park in western Pennsylvania. She’s now our 5th post of a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

Strange, to me, that teasel that is so common along the sides of roads is so critical to so many species of butterflies. Lucky you if you have teasel flourishing on your lot.

It’s true, I love the rich coloration of swallowtail butterflies.

This Tiger swallowtail was especially thoughtful, presenting her full wingspan and holding that pose. The symmetry we enjoy here is not so easy to capture in an image. Tiger swallowtails are usually either difficult to approach or they are moving too quickly to allow for keepable images. So, even though we try not to have the main focus in an image centered, this photo merits center stage.

She has been feeding at Asclepias flowers (milkweed, butterflyweed) for several weeks now, and teasel surely is a welcomed new taste!