Nature’s Rattle

Last Sunday as I pushed the collapsible gate of my farm I came across one of the best spectacle in days.  A sight that will stay in my memory for days to come. And since then I’ve been talking about it to people I know or I have come across. Never had I seen so many coloured stars. Yes, they resembled stars. I know stars do not appear in the day.

Butterflies of all hues gathered around the Khulkhula duo I had planted in July, feasting or circling the yellow coloured flowers.

Khulkhula

Initially, when I saw the upright plants standing tall ringed with flowers I didn’t know its name, and so posted it on FB.  But for one friend who tried his hand in identifying it and sent a link too, others had no clue. All ignoramuses like me. We know so less about the plant and insect world.

When I had planted them I never had a clue that one day I would feast on an assembly of butterflies. That too in my farm. Now I remember I was given the seeds, still in their pods, while on a visit to a nursery in Nashik.

Belonging to the pea family, the Greeks called it Crotalaria spectabilis. Referring to the sound the dried pods made. Commonly known as: cat’s bell, greater rattle pod, showy crotalaria, showy rattlepod. In Hindi it’s called ghungri, jangli san and jhunjhunia

 

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4 thoughts on “Nature’s Rattle

  1. ary

    Butterflies gratify efforts taken with plants so much so you feel you have actually done it for them. Your profile picture (palm shoot? )has wood sorrel growing underneath. I recently learned about it, the opportunity given by birds perhaps. I’ve been waiting to click a few photos of the tiny yellowflowers/ gather some leaves for use but birds and squirrels polish it off from the pot in which the it was grows. Does it grow back from the dried up plant or does it have a specific season ?

  2. Excellent! Males of Tiger and Crow butterflies gather at these plants to imbibe alkaloids from the stem and bruised parts. They use the alkaloids to trigger sex pheromones essential to successful courtship. If you plant Asclepias curassavica and oleander along the edges of your farm en masse, you will have lovely flowers and these butterflies by the score, since they feed on these plants in the caterpillar stage. Also plant curry leaf and lime trees, they are food plants for the caterpillars of the showy swallowtails!

    1. hiraman

      I have planted several curry leaf plants and limes too. Will plant the ones you’ve mentioned. Thanks for the suggestion. Value it immensely.

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