Verbascum chaixii – Nettle Leaved Mullein

This is the statuesque flower spike of Verbascum chaixii just coming into bloom and the equally beautiful caterpillar Cucullia verbasci eating said bloom.  This little fella is a mullein moth in waiting and he and his siblings are doing exactly what they are meant to do, that is eat verbascum.  They are also partial to a bit of buddleja, of which we have plenty, but either they have yet to notice this fact or I haven’t noticed them on the plants.  Progressive short sightedness can certain improve ones view of the world.   Generally it is the foliage that they decimate, generously leaving us the tough midribs, but it seems that this one’s sat nav has taken him to pastures new.  I like a rebel and we have plenty of self seeded plants to share.  The moral of this tale is, we can’t have butterflies and moths if we don’t have the caterpillars.  Think before you squish.



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3 responses to “Verbascum chaixii – Nettle Leaved Mullein

  1. Michelle - Germany

    Wow, he is
    beautiful! 🙂

  2. I feel the same generosity of spirit does not extend to slugs which are running (well slithering) rampant through my garden due to the current climate. I do give them a fighting chance. I gather them together in the hen coupe and if they can out run the chickens then they live to gnaw another day.Chickens are fast though!!!

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