Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Just goes to show

To all those caterpillar squashers out there...

I left our big white verbascum (I don't know which species it is) to be decimated by the mullein moth caterpillars earlier in the year. They must have eaten about a third of the total leaf area and chewed through the central flower stem.

This is a close up of some of the leaves six weeks ago (a week or so before the worst damage was done):

one of the cute culprits:

and the verbascum today:

It's flowered better this year than any other - probably as a result of the main stalk being completely severed. Just goes to show that killing the little munchers isn't always in the best interests of the plant (though I admit our large white caterpillar vs Brussels sprouts episode a couple of years ago didn't go so well for the sprouts!)


ADRIAN said...

Helen you are so right. The caterpillars had they succeeded are equally beautiful.

holdingmoments said...

Nature has a way of sorting things out for the good; if only man would stop interfering.
The Verbascum looks a picture of health.

Scriptor Senex said...

With perennials it's often the following year that suffers because the plant hasn't been able to put goodness back into the bulb/roots. Even so, for caterpillars like that it would certainly be worth it.