Hairstreak Butterfly on the Ribes

June 11, 2018

 

How delightful to spot in our native plant garden my first hairstreak butterfly  Satyrium californica of the year.

 

 

I was quietly sitting in the hot sun, on a low wall next to the garden, observing bees.

All of a sudden a hairstreak butterfly landed nearby on the King Edward VII Flowering Currant Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII' plant.

 

 

The butterfly walked on several of the leaves, and flexed its wings before it flew away.

It must have been surprised to discover the plant, because this is a slow growing plant and looked more like a four inch stick last summer.

 

 

Unlike the Ceanothus Ray Hartman seedling that I planted the same day last year in the spring, as I planted the ribes seedling, it took almost a year and half for this plant to grow to eight inches, while the ceanothus is well over five feet tall and wide.

 

 

I almost was going to pull out the ribes this spring, thinking that it wasn't going to grow.

But it seems to have adapted well to its location and the clay soil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The California hairstreak butterfly is small and gray, so if you aren't really paying attention, you might not notice it. The wingspan is 1 to 1 1/4 inches.

 

Ceanothus is one of their host plants, and they feed on the nectar of wild buckwheat and milkweed, among other plants.

 

We have the ceanothus, wild buckwheat and milkweed, so I hope to see more these lovely little butterflies.

 

 

 

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