Learning relationships by raising and studying butterflies
This lesson is suitable for southern USA. Your teacher may be able to help you find other plants and butterflies for other areas.
We start with Maypop, one of
the prettiest wildflowers in the South:
Image Copyright 2002, David L. Green Unauthorized use prohibited
Look for the blossoms to spot the plant. You will often find it at the edges of fields or along back roads and lanes. The flowers are present from May until late in the summer. When you find some Maypops remember the spot, for you will want to return in the fall. If you can't find any Maypops, do not worry. We have another way of finding them later.
Look to see what insects are pollinating the blossoms. In this picture a honeybee is doing the job. I have also seen bumblebees, carpenter bees, and scolid wasps.
The Maypop is a member of the Passionflower family. They got their name from the structure of the flower, which reminded people of the Cross of Christ, and the name refers to Christ's Passion. The official name is Passiflora incarnata. There are some tropical relatives that produce very good fruit, called Passionfruit. The Maypop fruit seedy, but OK to eat. Usually wild animals will get it before we can.
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