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  • From the Editor
  • R Kasten Dumroese

Growing up, I chased butterflies and moths for my collection. The flowers in my grandmother’s garden were a prime hunting spot, as was the large field of clover across the street. The big fritillaries were always desired species, and the pursuit of a “perfect specimen” led me to start rearing my own caterpillars in the garage, much to the chagrin of my mother. She never grew accustomed to going into the garage at night and hearing the chomping of dozens of caterpillars, much less when the giant hickory horned devils made their escape one evening. Perhaps those early dealings with Lepidoptera are why I’m a bit partial to articles that combine native plants and butterflies.

This issue has 2 fine articles about growing violets, the source food for the regal fritillary butterfly in the Midwest and for several species of checkerspot butterflies in the western US. These low-statured plants present a challenge when it comes to seed collection, but the methods described should alleviate that problem and are most likely applicable to many other species that grow low to the ground. We also have word on a new legume for restoration in South Texas; information on how to collect, clean, store, and germinate seeds of rubber rabbitbrush (I love that name); and protocols for producing some difficult-to-grow species in the northern Rocky Mountains. And, this issue contains the annual Native Plant Materials Directory.

Be sure to tell your friends about Native Plants Journal.

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