University of California

California Friendly Gardening:

Title California Friendly Gardening 35
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Photo Information California Dreaming
Burnett, Miyo: UC Master Gardener Vol.
Description Wild Fennel (Anise) is believed to have been brought to California with the early European settlers, specifically grown in our Spanish Missions. Its cultivation escaped and now can be seen throughout California in freeway edges, creek beds, and native gardens. For some, it is an annoyingly invasive plant; for others, it is a necessary culinary ingredient. For the Anise Swallowtail Butterfly it is LIFE.This May, a Master Gardener colleague and I discovered on some nearby Fennel two tiny, tiny caterpillars – no bigger than a black thread and no longer than our little finger's nail. They had been laid as eggs by an Anise Swallowtail Butterfly and were going through their necessary instars. We decided to foster these two in our homes and photograph their development. This picture is about three weeks inside with fresh Fennel and an early-morning misting. Our last year's attempt helped a few new Anise Swallowtail Butterflies fly free; here's hoping for another success!

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