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Cathie Rowand/ The Journal Gazette
Black swallowtail caterpillars eat parsley, dill, fennel and the green tops of carrots.

Use caution while cooking with parsley

While clipping parsley to put in a stir fry, I found a caterpillar. I knew that it was a butterfly of some sort, but had to study some images on the Internet. I thought it might be a tiger swallowtail because I have seen so many of these butterflies on the purple cone flowers and zinnias in my vegetable garden. It appears to be a black swallowtail caterpillar. Parsley is the host plant for the black swallowtail caterpillar.

I put the caterpillar in an aquarium with some fresh parsley and continued to wash the rest of the parsley for dinner when I found a second one. I am going to keep both and care for them until they become butterflies. Then I will let them go.

I want to watch them grow, turn into pupas and then butterflies. Last summer I was successful in raising monarchs. Black swallowtail caterpillars eat parsley, dill, fennel and the green tops of carrots. I have more than enough herbs to share.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer) rsalter@jg.net, Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer) agregory@jg.net, Frank Noonan (copy editor) fnoonan@jg.net and Cathie Rowand (photographer) crowand@jg.net.

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