Recently I stopped by to visit my friend Jane’s extraordinary butterfly and moth sanctuary. I refer to it as such because she not only raises Monarchs but also Zebra, Giant, and Black Swallowtails, as well as Cecropia and Luna Moths.
Jane has simply an amazing garden. She grows a vast array of North American native wildflowers and trees that support myriad species of pollinators. Jane also grows some beautiful non-native species that are of benefit to pollinators.
I was fascinated by Jane’s Mimosa Tree, a plant I have always wanted to try, but simply do not have the space. Hers is Mecca for butterflies and bees. The tree is very fast growing and blooms over an extended period of time when planted in the Northeast. Bonus feature- the fragrance emanating from the blossoms is heavenly!
The downside to growing a Mimosa Tree is that they are short lived and susceptible to fungus. They are also considered an invasive species in areas further south, where they spread easily and crowd out native communities. I don’t think that would be a problem in our area where it would more likely be a challenge to simply keep a Mimosa Tree alive during our rough and tumble New England winters. If you have ever grown a Mimosa tree in New England, i would love to hear from you. Thank you!
Cecropia Moth Life Cycle -1) mating, 2) eggs, 3-7) developing instars, 8) spinning cocoon, 9 and 10) cocoon, 11) newly emerged, 12 and 13 closeups, 14) male Cecropia, 15) female Cecropia