25th March 2017

Ladies Smock, also known as Cuckoo flower, and by us from Sussex as Milkmaids, is a wonderful wildflower you could grow in any damp spot. In the Cabbage family it is one of the food plants of the caterpillar of Orange Tip Butterflies. Feeding on the nectar and pollen yesterday were many insects, including the Drone Fly (a hoverfly), Bee Flies (more another day) and my first Small Tortoiseshell of the year- one of the few Butterflies that overwinter as adults and are therefore on the wing on these sunny spring days. Austrians believed that anyone who picked Ladies Smock would be bitten by an Adder, and Germans’ believed, if brought indoors, the house would be struck by lightening. Conditions: Sun and a strong breeze. Temperature: Max 13- Min 6C.

Small Tortoiseshell feeding on Ladies Smock

Bee Fly feeding on Ladies Smock

Drone Fly feeding on Ladies Smock

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