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Aug 31, 2013 10:51 AM

BIG, UGLY CATERPILLARS ate my flat leaf parsley!!

These things are green/black/white and gnawed parsely down to nubs! Parsely is in a pot and up off the ground, so was MAJOR trek for this critter to even get to it. Did a little googling and THINK might be Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar?

Will parsely come back??

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  1. I have them all over my parsley, too, and I'm thrilled. They're going to be black swallow tail butterflies! Three of them are out there now, big fat ones, chartreuse and black. I think they're beautiful and vididly colorful.

    Parsley comes back in my experience, but I wouldn't care if it didn't, I'm looking forward to watching the process of cocooning and metamorphosis.

    1. I have them on my parsley and dill at the moment. I stopped trying to fight the fight, especially as the dill was bolting anyway.

      1. I grow parsley in baskets hanging from the gazebo eaves, in pots on the deck, and even indoors on the sill of a south-facing window. Have never seen caterpillars on them, but it would be interesting if they did.

        1. Parsley is a biannual but if it's been chomped to the ground there might not be enough left so it can re-grow. IF it comes back next year, you can use it until the flower stalk forms and then it gets kind of bitter/coarse tasting. Even in zone 5, it has time to re-grow if it's possible.

          1. I found another there today, now 4 Black swallowtails and a spiny elm caterpillar destined to become a mourning cloak butterfly:

            The critters dened the stalk they were on yesterday, have moved to the next one.