California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Anise Swallowtail ~ Papilio zelicaon

The Anise Swallowtail can be in our gardens much of the year. Their most common butterfly garden food source is Anise, Foeniculum vulgare, but they will also feed on a wide variety of other plants in the same family, Umbelliferae. Anise can be a difficult plant to keep tamed in the garden. Lomatium or snakeweed is the most common native food for the Anise Swallowtail, but this plant is rarely found in the nursery trade. The adults also will occasionally feed on Citrus. This adult Anise Swallowtail is resting on a stalk of the Slender Oat Grass, Avena barbata. The anise has a flavor that is much like licorice and can be used in the kitchen. The thick lower portion of the Anise plant can be blanched and the seeds eaten.

Anise Swallowtail, Papilio zelicaon

Flowers and foliage of the Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.