Tag Archives: Swallowtail caterpillar host plant

IF YOU GO TO GOOD HARBOR BEACH AT SUNRISE BE SURE TO…

Take in the wonderful fragrance of the flowering Black Locust trees adjacent to the footbridge entrance. The air is redolent with the scent of orange blossoms and honey, along with the Rosa rugosa blooming nearby.

The stand at Good Harbor Beach has been increasing in size and I don’t ever recall the scent quite as potent as it is this year. You can smell the flowers halfway down Nautilus Road!

Black Locust are native to the Appalachian Mountains. The leaves are a host to over 67 species of Lepidoptera, including  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak, Red-spotted Purple, Viceroy, Giant Leopard Moth, and the Elm Sphinx Moth. A host plant is a caterpillar food plant. And they offer nectar to pollinators, including Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

Gloucester HarborWalk Tulip Tree Image to Travel Around the World

Recently my friend Joey (the creator of Good Morning Gloucester, the blog for which I am a daily contributor) was contacted by The Field Museum in Chicago about a GMG post from May 2012. They were interested in acquiring an image of mine from a post about our beautiful HarborWalk Tulip Trees, planted at St. Peter’s Square.

Tulip Tree Gloucester HarborWalk ©Kim Smith 2012 copyTulip Tree at the Gloucester HarborWalk Butterfly Garden

The Field Museum is currently developing an engaging new scientific exhibition on the topic of Biomechanics that will debut in the spring of 2014.  Led by the curatorial efforts of Field Museum Curator of Zoology, Dr. Mark Westneat, the exhibition will explore the science of looking at living things as machines built by nature and evolution.  One of the topics presented includes wind and how the leaves of a tree change in the wind.

I selected Tulip Trees for the gardens not only because they have a lovely ornamental bi-color effect when the leaves catch the wind, but primarily because they have a storied connection to Gloucester history. Liriodendron tulipifera was one of the primary woods used for tall ship’s masts, and because much of the wood from which the CB Fisk organs are built is Tulip Poplar (thank you to Greg Bover for the information about the Fisk connection to tulip poplar!). Tulip Trees are also a caterpillar food plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly!

See post about Tulip Trees ~ Welcome Tulip Trees!