Clematis Flowers Greeting You at Phipps Conservatory’s Outdoor Gardens

Clematis Flowers photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, PA Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, PA

How many of us shop in giant mega-supermarkets, with aisle after aisle of choices to select from? The natural world can be seen to resemble those super-supermarkets.

These Clematis flowers greet you at the entrance to the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory. I have spent considerable time posted there, awaiting the arrival of nectar-hungry butterflies. I have never seen a butterfly go to a Clematis flower. Colors that nearly defy description yes, but has their vividness summoned butterflies? No.

With the multitude of different flowers in bloom in the Outdoor Gardens, some, such as the Zinnias and Cone Flower, regularly host hungry fliers. Others, as our Clematis, do not receive a visitor. How does this work? What is the plan? Does Clematis bring butterflies in their native habitat? Is this yet another instance of flowers whose guests arrive at night? Have the attractive qualities of Clematis been bred into oblivion?

So it is that in the mega-stores I look down aisles that I never, never go down, with food offerings that I never shop for. We are not then that much different from a Monarch or a Red Admiral butterfly, are we?

If you are expert in this area, you are welcome to weigh in.