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Butterfly Gardening for Texas

Geyata Ajilvsgi

Publication Year: 2013

Texas hosts an unparalleled number of butterfly species, and whether one lives near the beaches of the Gulf Coast or in the mountains of the Trans-Pecos, all Texans can enjoy the color and tranquility that butterflies bring to any outdoor space.

In Butterfly Gardening for Texas, author and expert Geyata Ajilvsgi shares a wealth of practical information about all kinds of butterflies and the many flowers and other plants they utilize in their miraculous life cycle: from hidden egg to munching caterpillar to cryptic chrysalis to nectar-sipping, winged adult.

Written in an engaging, nontechnical style for anyone who wants to attract butterflies to the yard or garden, the book provides tips for making gardens caterpillar- and butterfly-friendly, in-depth profiles of more than fifty butterflies, descriptions of the food plants for a variety of both caterpillars and butterflies, and plant lists for easy selection and substitution, depending on where you live and what is available.

For those who want specific advice on what to plant where, Ajilvsgi has designed useful, adaptable landscape plans and extensive planting options for each of seven state regions. Helpful appendices aid gardeners in taking photographs of the butterflies they attract, in locating sources for seeds and plants, and in finding organizations and other instructive publications for additional information about these beautiful and beneficial insects.

As the popularity of butterfly gardening continues to increase, gardeners of all skill levels will find Butterfly Gardening for Texas an invaluable source of guidance and inspiration.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. ii-v


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p. vii-vii

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pp. ix-x

This book was originally written just for Texas but was expanded at the request of the publisher to include the southeastern states and titled Butterfly Gardening for the South. In this Texas A&M University Press edition, it has been brought back to its original focus with much updating, more information and corrections, and many new additional photographs. Since the original publication, butterfly ...

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Circle of Life

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p. xi-xi

For Native Tribal peoples, the circle is singularly the most important symbol of our culture. For us it represents all of life with no beginning and no end, portraying the roundness of the All. Within our world, everything is of equal importance—animals, rocks, plants, the waters, the sky above, and the earth below. Within this ...

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pp. xiii-xiv

The state of Texas encompasses numerous and varied natural land regions—some of the most diverse in North America. In its wide expanse of almost 270,000 square miles of land, many climatic zones, geologic provinces, and botanical realms come together, creating especially rich and interesting biotic ...

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1. Understanding the Butterfly

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pp. 1-22

Butterflies, along with moths, are easily differentiated from all other insects. They belong to the order Lepidoptera, a name composed of two Greek words, lepis meaning “scale” and ptera meaning “wing,” combined to mean “scale-winged,” which aptly describes their most obvious feature. The wings, as well as the body, are ...

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2. Creating a Butterfly Garden

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pp. 23-46

As the natural habitat of butterflies is being drastically altered and in many instances destroyed entirely, there is much that the home gardener can do to take up the slack by providing these creatures with new areas where they can breed, find food, and lay ...

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3. A Planting Plan

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pp. 47-92

One objective of a butterfly garden is that it be properly established and, therefore, easily maintained with little disturbance to the butterflies. A gardener should be able to enjoy the butterflies in the garden and derive pleasure from the efforts to attract them, not ...

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4. An Instant Butterfly Garden

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pp. 93-102

If you are really excited about the prospect of attracting butterflies, but it is too late in the season to dig beds or set out trees and shrubbery, there is a way you can still make a butterfly garden almost instantly—use plants ...

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5. Let Nature Do It: Butterfly-Friendly Pest Controls

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pp. 103-116

Establishing a garden to attract certain caterpillars and adult butterflies is also going to invite other insects that may not be so welcome. In the natural world there are no “good” bugs or “bad” bugs. What we may occasionally consider obnoxious insects have their place and function in nature the same ...

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6. A Special South Texas Garden

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pp. 117-126

Gardeners in the semitropical area of the Rio Grande Valley have an excellent opportunity for attracting some of the rarest and most beautiful species of butterflies to be found in the state. Not only are there species that are permanent Texas residents only in the Valley area but there are some even less common species that come into South Texas ...

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7. Butterfly Profiles

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pp. 127-204

Following is a small sampling of the many species of butterflies to be found throughout the state. Some, such as the Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki) and the Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterius), can be found in gardens during the entire growing season. Others, such as the Falcate Orangetip (Anthocharis midea) and ...

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8. Larval Food Plant Profiles

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pp. 205-312

Some of the best larval and nectar food plants that can be used in a butterfl y garden are described here and in chapter 9— space prohibits describing all the useful plants to be found in the state. If you use a plant profiled in this chapter and have poor results in attracting butterflies, the best thing to do ...

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9. Nectar Plant Profiles

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pp. 313-388

Nectar and the plants that produce it are the material that forms the very foundation of butterfl y attracting. A knowledge of good nectar-producing plants is most important, and a few familiar plants known to be good nectar producers are shown and described here. See chapter 8 for general explanations of the ...


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pp. 389-406


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pp. 407-412


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pp. 413-437

E-ISBN-13: 9781603449571
E-ISBN-10: 1603449574
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603448062

Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 268 color photos. 11 line art. 2 maps. 17 tables. App. Index. Bib.
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series