14 April, 2015

Scarlet Tigers like weeds and so should you!

The advantage of owning a small, poorly maintained and scruffy student garden is that it contains all the infamous weeds that are often first on a gardener's list to pull-up, but that are also essential for invertebrates. Ours is full of Hemp Agrimony and Green Alkanet, two unloved native perennials which in our garden support a thriving colony of Scarlet Tiger caterpillars.

I first found a lonely caterpillar walking along the garden patio a couple of weeks back, so it was great to return today to find that it had been joined by another six individuals all happily feeding on Alkanet and Forget-me-Knot.

The fully emerged adult of the species is a stunning moth, and despite seven years of moth-watching I'm still yet to see it - hopefully this will be the year!


Worcester’s Wild-side said...

My garden is full of Green Alkanet, can't get rid of it. But to be honest I quite like it. Not found only Scarlet Tigers yet.

Billy Dykes said...

Keep looking, Laurie - there's nothing particularly special about our garden! The more untidy the better I say! :)