Liquidambar styraciflua with Actias luna

One summer Professor James Castner from the University of Florida sent me a little box with 7 luna moth cocoons. When they hatched out in my studio, it was a magical sight to see their wings inflate. I hoped they would mate, but that didn’t happen, or they didn’t like the tree branches I offered them in captivity, so I began to release them into the wild. I hope some of them found mates before they died. Dr. Castner told me that he fed his moth larvae sweet gum leaves. Ever since that time, I have held a special place in my heart for sweet gum. There are many other moths and butterflies that feed on this rather weedy under-appreciated tree. The tree also has very beautiful five pointed starlike leaves. It is an artist’s dream come true.