These designs are realistic representations of butterflies, moths, and flowers.
The flower in this design is the purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia), which is a common wildflower of the prairies. They are also common these days in flower gardens around the world. The roots contain a pain killer and were used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments.
This butterfly is the well known monarch (Danaus plexippus). Monarchs are poisonous when eaten by other animals because their caterpillars feed on poisonous milkweed plants. As adults, monarch butterflies from the entire eastern 2/3 of North America make long migrations in the fall to one tiny forest remnant in Central America. If destruction of the forests continues, designs like this may be the only way we’ll see these beautiful butterflies in the future.
Size = 8.5“ x 14“ (14 ct.)
Size = 10.5“ x 12“ (14 ct.)
This colorful butterfly is an eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). They are common in the eastern 2/3 of North America. Males are yellow with black markings and females can be similar in color or almost completely black. Black females are more common in areas with the poisonous pipevine swallowtail, which it mimics. The caterpillars feed on many species of trees, mostly those in the families Magnoliaceae and Rosaceae.
The flower is tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum), which lives in open, disturbed areas, roadsides, ditches, pastures, and thickets. The Cherokee took an infusion of the leaves for neuralgia and used the bristles to make blow dart tails. Songbirds often feed on the seeds but cattle will not eat the leaves and these plants are often considered to be a weed in overgrazed pastures.
The butterfly in this design is called a checkered white (Pontia protodice). This small butterfly is found across most of the United States, but is more common in southern regions. Hosts for the caterpillars include plants of the Mustard family.
The flower is wooly verbena or hoary vervain (Verbena stricta), a common wildflower of the prairies, especially where they are over grazed, because cattle don’t like their taste. Native Americans dried the plant and treated stomachaches with the tea produced.
Size = 9“ x 9.5“ (14 ct.)
This butterfly is called a Crimson Rose (Pachliopta hector) and is perched on a hibiscus flower, one of the plants from which it gets nectar to eat. The butterfly is common in the tropical portions of India and Sri Lanka. They live in both open and jungle habitats. The caterpillars feed on toxin-rich plants making the butterflies poisonous. The bright red coloration has evolved as a warning to keep predators away. The top design in this pattern with the black butterfly is the natural coloration of both butterfly and a strain of hibiscus. The lower design is a sort of reverse color version, which is pretty but not representative of real life.
Size = 11“ x 9“ (14 ct.)
Size = 12” x 9” (14 ct.)
This design is an experiment in using multiple shades of a single color. One of the most common monochromatic palettes is white through black. So, I went with a mostly black and white butterfly and then couldn’t resist including the splash of red on the wing.
Zebra swallowtails (Eurytides marcellus) are found across much of the eastern continental United States. They prefer moist, partially wooded habitats. Their larvae feed on plants of the genus Asimina (pawpaw). The flower in this design is from the genus Rudbekia, which contains black-eyed susans, a species of popular garden flowers. Normally, these flowers are yellow with a dark reddish brown center.
Size = 15“ x 9“ (14 ct.)
This butterfly is the giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes), which can be found over most of North and Central America. They are the largest butterfly in North America (5 inch wingspan) and have black upper wings with bands of yellow. Their caterpillars feed on citrus plants and are often considered a pest. However, they can be hard to spot because they look like bird droppings.
The flower in this design is one of the many species of Helianthus, or sunflowers, that are common across the prairies of North America.
This butterfly may look something like a monarch, but it is actually a Gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae). They live throughout the southern United States and down into Central and South America. The caterpillars feed on the vines of passion flowers, which are rare in Kansas where I live. I had a passion flower for a number of years that I brought from my parents’ farm in Tennessee and kept in a pot. I would keep it inside in winter and put it outside in summer. One summer, I had a batch of orange caterpillars with black spikes that I didn’t recognize. I sent a photo to an entomologist friend of mine who identified them as Gulf fritillaries. So, I let them eat my passion vine and took photos as they grew. One of them made it to form a chrysalis on the siding of my house and I happened to catch it emerging when I came home for lunch one day. It reminded me of catching monarch caterpillars when I was a kid and made me wish that monarchs were still common enough for my nieces and nephew to be able to do the same thing.
Size = 10.5“ x 12“ (14 ct.)
Directions are included for a single leaf version that is 10.5 x 9".
Size = 7“ x 14“ (14 ct.)
This butterfly is the blue morpho (Morpho peleides), an abundant butterfly of the rainforests of Central and South America. It has a wingspan of up to 8 inches. The lower surface of the wings is camouflaged with shades of brown and the upper surface is iridescent blue. When they sit with their wings folded, they are very difficult to see. But, if a potential predator comes close, they can flash the brilliant upper wings and hopefully confuse the predator for the few seconds it takes to escape. I once saw one of these incredible butterflies flying across a sunny clearing in the Amazon. Every time the wings went down and reflected the sunlight, it was like a bright blue strobe.
The adults feed on the juice of decaying fruits instead of flower nectar. The larvae feed on a broad range of plants. Females have a larger black margin on the wings than males do. So this individual is a female.
If you are curious about the title of this design, ‘morphogenesis’ is the biological process that determines the morphology, or shape, of an individual. This seemed appropriate for a butterfly that undergoes metamorphosis and belongs the genus Morpho.