Addenda: Butterflies, Radishes, Garlic

June 6th, 2010

I got my Zebra Swallowtail! The first one I’ve seen in central Virginia.

Zebra Swallowtail

Zebra Swallowtail on Lavender

It was very fresh and very fluttery and appeared in the garden after a rainstorm yesterday. I only mention the rainstorm because it was so hot and steamy outside that the camera lens fogged up. Repeatedly. Fortunately, the butterfly stayed until the lens cleared.

There was a faint wash of pale blue on the upper side of the wings. You may have to click through to enlarge the picture enough to see it.

Zebra Swallowtail

Notice the pale blue color close to the body.

I’ve noticed that all the swallowtails are besotted with the lavender this year. The variety is ‘Munstead’ from seed, if that makes any difference.


Radishes. I want to amend my comments on ‘Shunkyo’. I had never tasted one that matured in hot weather. I’m now prepared to say that they’re hot. Very hot.


Green Garlic. I ought to have mentioned that when green garlic starts to form bulbs, the developing bulb is somewhat tough. This is only a problem if you don’t use it all before the bulbs start to happen. You can either chop the developing bulb very fine or just use the green tops.

And I found another use for green garlic. Green garlic butter! I first made it as an accompaniment to homemade Camarones Brochettes, similar to those served in several local restaurants. I puréed green garlic (the whole stalk, roughly chopped) in a mini-blender and then added cold butter (and salt because the butter was unsalted) and whirled it just enough to combine. I think it would be great with any kind of seafood and I can verify that it’s delicious tossed with ravioli and coarsely ground black pepper.

14 Responses to “Addenda: Butterflies, Radishes, Garlic”

  1. Sandy says:

    This is a pretty one. It isn’t in my book for new england, so I am sure I won’t be seeing it here.

    I have five old gnarly munstead lavender plants I started from seed way too long ago. I know they should me replaced, but I can’t.

    PS– my garlic is now in the ground.

    • entangled says:

      My lavender plants are about 3 years old and starting to get woody too. I’m thinking of leaving them alone and calling them bonsai ;-)

      Hope the garlic grows well for you!

  2. I’ve never seen a zebra one before in my garden. Today a yellow swallowtail fluttered by but didn’t stop. My heart sank!

    • entangled says:

      I hope it comes back! I see them all summer long, so there’s lots of time yet. I just checked butterfliesandmoths.org and Zebra Swallowtail has been reported in the Chicago area before, so you should have a chance at seeing one.

  3. Oh wow… that’s a stunning butterfly! And green garlic butter sounds absolutely delicious. On anything! (I’m a garlic addict… :)

    • entangled says:

      I think the Zebra Swallowtail looks way too tropical to live in Virginia, but I’m glad it does.

      We eat a lot of garlic, probably more than is socially acceptable, but if everybody ate it then nobody would notice. I’m working on getting everybody to eat it ;-)

  4. Kate says:

    Mmm…garlic butter sounds fantastic! I’m a huge garlic fanatic, but have never planted it…I think this has motivated me to get some in the ground this fall.

    • entangled says:

      Once you’ve grown your own garlic, you can’t go back to store-bought (like so many things!). I didn’t get around to planting my main crop of garlic until spring this year. Seems to be growing OK, but I’m not sure how good the bulbs will be. We’ll know soon.

  5. Wendy says:

    oooh, that green garlic butter sounds amazing!!! I’m going to try it.

  6. Swimray says:

    I am going to be looking out for the zebra butterfly here in Alexandria Virginia, having never seen one. The yellow swallowtails here like my echinacea, so maybe the zebras will too.

    • entangled says:

      I’ve seen Zebra Swallowtails in western Fairfax County, so I expect they’re around Alexandria too. I remember seeing them around the daylilies once, but I can’t remember what else they liked. I know I didn’t have any lavender or zinnias then.

  7. Tabor says:

    i have had a few visit my garden recently. Maybe I will post a photo sometime.

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