California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Gulf Fritillary - Agraulis vanillae

Gulf Fritillary Butterflies are flying in my garden most of the spring, summer and fall. There can be a dozen or more flying at any given time. This is as spectacular as the flowers on the passion vine that they eat. Fortunately the passion vine is extraordinarily exuberant in its growth and can usually keep up with the voracious appetites of the caterpillars. This Gulf Fritillary was slowed by a cool morning which made for some excellent viewing. The butterflies over-winter in their cocoons. These are light brown and attached to the bottom of most any fixed object including chairs, deck rails, and the bottoms of the leaves. Click here to see the Gulf Fritillary in profile. The passion vine grows glands that mimic butterfly eggs on the leaves and petioles in an effort to dissuade the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly's from laying their eggs. Gulf Fritillary eggs can be found on the underside of the passion vine leaves or of the leaves of nearby plants. We have an extensive list of plants that will attract these beauties to your butterfly garden.

High resolution photos of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly are part of our garden image collection.

Gulf Fritillary