This week Durham Co. Master Gardener Lynne Nelson spotted a total of eight swallowtail caterpillars feasting on the rue (Ruta graveolens) in her Durham garden.
Rue was once thought a medicinal herb (it's not) and has a strong smell repellent to dogs, cats and Japanese beetles, thus making it an excellent companion plant. It has semi-woody growth which can be pruned and trained into hedges. Rue attracts some types of butterflies and be used as a filler plant in floral arrangements.
Photo by Lynne Nelson, Durham Co. Master Gardener