Although the high-climbing, woody pipe vines have not been recorded in Pittsylvania County, the plant becomes more common toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. Pipe-vine swallowtail caterpillars feed on the pipe vine plant; pipe-vine swallowtails seem to be rare visitors in our county. Their presence may be due to wind-blown specimens from the west of us, or an occasional unrecorded pipe vine plant may be undetected at the present time. Certain older butterfly collectors often referred to this species as “the green swallowtail.” The bluish/green iridescence of the male pipe-vine is especially noticeable as they actually flock around the flowers of the large poke milkweed of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Copyright © 2005 William T. Hathaway.