Tweedia latin name Oxypetalum caerulem

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  • #15200

    Natalie Gillard
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    The monarch butterflys have been laying their eggs on my Tweedia and I’m wondering if the caterpillars will b able to live on this plant I know that its related 2 the milkweed plant?

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  • #29917

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    A similar situation exists with Soleirolia (Helxine) soleirolii, common name ‘babies tears’, a plant grown indoors but an outdoor plant in its natural form and also grown thus. The yellow admiral will oviposit on it, but when at the 2nd instar stage the larvae will vacate the plant in search of other food, even though the plant is a member of the nettle family.

    #29916

    Natalie Gillard
    Participant

    It is very pretty and I love the flower to. I grow it to attract the good insects like bees and butterflies it was a bonus when I saw the monarch lay her eggs I was hoping that it would be successful as you never know when you will need extra food

    #29915

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Natalie,

    Because I love the colour of the tweedia flowers, I have grown it and tried to get caterpillars to use it as a host, but like yourself have found that the tomentose hairy leaves aren’t appreciated, and the larvae will wander off in search of other food. I have never had monarchs lay eggs on tweedia when I have grown it, and they seem to by-pass it for prefered food plants.

    Tweedia is however unsurpassed if you want a true sky blue splash of colour. I grew it to be used in my younger daughters head circlet when she married : ) sooooo pretty.

    #29908

    Natalie Gillard
    Participant

    Here’s an update. All the caterpillars have died that were laid on my Tweedia I font know if the bad weather has played a part or they just didn’t like the Tweedia.

    #29763

    Natalie Gillard
    Participant

    Most of the catapillars hatched this morning only one has started eating the rest don’t seem to like the hairy leaves.

    #29754

    Natalie Gillard
    Participant

    Will do thanks for your information the eggs have changed colour so most probably will hatch shortly. At the time I saw the monarch laying her eggs I did have enough food at the time, she was the only one to do it.

    #29753

    Bernie
    Participant

    At last!A sunny day!
    On the tweedia front,I grow it every year in my flight greenhouse where it is along with the usuals(currisavaca,syriaca,incarnata etc.).My experience is that monarchs will lay on it and the cats feed on it happily.I haven’t ever taken any through to maturity on it but my guess would be that it would work fine.The leaves are small compared to the other foodplants but the flowers are very pretty and being blue are unusual as well as acting as a source of nectar.

    #29752

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    There are many reports of butterfly enthusiasts growing tweedia and never seen monarch eggs or caterpillars on the plant, and it is known that caterpillars placed on tweedia will eat the flowers and young leaves, but ignore the older leaves. I believe Bernie in the UK has used tweedia as a hostplant – come in Bernie.
    The butterfly in Natalies case may have acted on desperation rather than preference seeing as the swanplants were consumed. It would be interesting to follow Darrens query and keep several caterpillars on the tweedia exclusively and follow them through their cycle.
    Please keep us posted on the hatched caterpillars progress Natalie.

    #29750

    Darren
    Participant

    Tweedia caerulea is a genus in the Asclepiadoideae subfamily, just like the Gomphocarpus and Asclepias genra.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if a confined monarch caterpillar fed only Tweedia will survive pupation?

    #29749

    Natalie Gillard
    Participant

    I do have swan plants near by but catapillars have just about eaten all of the plants.

    #29748

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    My experience with tweedia is the larvae will eat the young growth but then wander off looking for another food source.
    Do you have swanplants growing also?

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