Pipevine Swallowtails: From Caterpillar to Butterfly

In many cases, discovering that something has chewed through your garden is a cause for concern. Sometimes, though, it’s a reason to celebrate, as when caterpillars take up residence on their way to becoming beautiful butterflies. You may have even planted milkweed in specifically to attract Monarchs, which famously migrate thousands of miles from North America to Mexico and back, and which only eat milkweed along the way. Here at Marin Art and Garden Center this spring, we hosted the caterpillars of Pipevine Swallowtails, which similarly develop only on a single type of plant.

California Pipevine contains toxins in its leaves that build up in the caterpillars so that they and the mature butterflies are themselves toxic, hence the dramatic warning coloration. Like all butterfly caterpillars (most moths spin cocoons), when Swallowtail caterpillars grow to their largest size, they shed their too-tight skin for a chrysalis, and undergo a transformation into a butterfly. This remarkable process actually begins when the caterpillar is still forming inside its egg, and continues under the protective cover of the chrysalis. The caterpillar essentially dissolves and its tissues reform as a butterfly, which then bursts out of the chrysalis and is shortly ready to fly away to continue the important work of pollination and of course, breeding new butterflies.

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IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center