Butterfly Habitat Garden
The Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden is 11,000 square foot area that supports plant species having specific relationships to life cycles of eastern United States butterflies. It is located on the East side of the National Museum of Natural History at 9th Street between Constitution Avenue and the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The caterpillar in this video will become a Black Swallowtail Butterfly. The projections from the caterpillar's head are forked glands called osmeterium. When the caterpillar believes it is in danger it will release these glands and emit a foul odor to repel predators. (Don't worry! No caterpillars were harmed in the making of this video.)
Tomatoes attract several species of moths; two of them are infamous to experienced back-yard tomato gardeners. Tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) and tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) are identified by the “horn” protruding from the rear of the caterpillar. Both are voracious eaters and will munch on tomato foliage and fruit. They are not welcome visitors in most vegetable gardens, but they are invited to dine in the Butterfly Habitat Garden.
The Butterfly Habitat Garden is designed to support the lifecycles of the butterfly. Four natural habitats surround the garden’s pathways: the Wetland, the Meadow, the Wood’s Edge, and the Urban Garden. Each of these spaces is planted with alluring flowers, foliage, and water features that provide nutrients and shade to the butterfly. Here you will find butterflies resting on flowers and flittering through the air.