Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Madagascar Periwinkle - Butterflies' Favourite

 Given the right environment, Catharanthus roseus, commonly known as  Madagascar periwinkle can grow with wild abandon. 

 
 It is very grateful for life's little mercies and rewards us with numerous blooms.

 
Bright or filtered sunlight with lots of water is an absolute necessity.

Even a small amount of fertiliser will get the gardener amply rewarded with a profusion of blooms.

The blooms can be so heavy that they tumble down under its own weight in a planter box.


They are self-seeding, sprouting easily from the ground or wherever the seeds land.

 Where the seeds land it is home, thriving in any nook and cranny. Here they sprouted from the grouting between the bricks of a planter box.
 
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The periwinkle is a veritable magnet for the many colourful winged-beauties in the garden. They flutter over in droves, happily alighting over leaves and flowers. 
The Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) is a frequent visitor to my periwinkle plants.

 
The Common Lime (Papilio demoleus malayanus) flits between my citrus trees (calamansi) and the periwinkles for a varied diet.

This skipper butterfly of the family Hesperiidae sank its thick proboscis into the deep recesses ...

to draw out the sweet nectar.

Another one was clearly intoxicated from this fountain of sweetness.

 
The Peablue butterfly (Lampides boeticus), is another type of flutter-in guest.  

One with broken wings but not broken spirit, continued to eye the nectar in the flowers.

 
Some left their succulent offsprings, the caterpillars behind to their own devices. 

 
With their voracious apetities, they become plump little green sausages in no time. It doesn't care much about the flowers as the leaves are the coveted food.

Sometimes a bit of acrobatics is involved for munching the leaves. A nice soft leaf-mat to lie on makes the job much easier.

 
This little hairy caterpillar is a fast trekker in his forage for food.

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  Usually the blooms present in clusters of two or three in various shades of pink, purple and red.
 
the reds with white centre
 
 The ubiquitous magenta with white centre.

sweet baby pink with white centre

mauve with white centre

light pink with crimson centre

salmon with pink centre

 
A hanging pot as viewed from my kitchen window.

I'm have been following the latest updates on the fate of the missing MAS plane, MH370. As there is no hard physical evidence (retrieved) to link it to a possible crash in the Indian Ocean, closure will not be absolutely complete for family members and friends of the passengers and crew. Our prayers are still with them and we empathise strongly with their predicament. 


 

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