So you looked it up and you're dying for that big green
to visit your yard? Me too! Hopefully I can help you find
some green shrimp plant of your own.
Green shrimp plant is an
Extremely common weed here in Southeast Florida, at least in Palm Beach
and Broward counties. You've probably been mowing it. I was before I
figured out what it was. Then I preserved several areas of it in my
yard, and weeded the grass (shh, don't tell my husband!), but the
Malachite Butterflies never came. I've heard that they like rotten fruit
and wooded areas, but can't confirm that since I've never seen one in
person (yet). Finding one is on my very long list of things to do.
Update: I FOUND them!
Hopefully these pictures will help you find some green shrimp plant,
Blechum pyramidatum, for yourself. The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
has a page on green shrimp plant
Oh my, another confusing species name moment.... I had it written down
as Blechum pyramidatum, and now when I go back (a few years later) to
check the link it looks like Ruellia blechum L.
Whatever they call it
- and I'll stick to green shrimp plant now - it's a neat plant that
leaves me ever hopeful that a Malachite might move into my yard. As the
years pass, I suspect that that isn't very likely to happen, but it's
more fun to remain optimistic and consider it possible.
I've found both Malachite butterfly
White Peacock butterfly
caterpillars eating Green Shrimp Plant.
The Malachites, like this one to the left, are dark black with red
spines. The White Peacocks are also very dark with a slight brownish
tinge to their spines: