Thursday, 16 July 2015
Greater Knapweed (left) and Field Scabious (right) are two of our most popular butterfly and moth plants at Filnore.
They both provide nectar for insects and the scabious leaves are food for several species of caterpillar.
Another good nectar plant is the Ragwort which is just coming into flower.
It's also the food plant for the Cinnabar Moth caterpillars who absorb poisonous substances from the plant into their bodies. this makes them taste nasty - for birds that is - so they are not afraid to advertise their presence with bold black and yellow hoops along their bodies. This is warning colouration as opposed to camouflage, another form of defence.
photo: Simon Harding
Agrimony or Aaron's Rod is yet another nectar plant. My Reader's Digest flower book says, 'Flies and bees are attracted to the slender spikes of flowers by a scent reminiscent of apricots.'
In the pylon field we have a large clump of Great Willowherb. Because it spreads by creeping stems it is forming a larger clump year on year. It's pretty but we may need to curb it a little or it may swamp everything else.