10th August 2017

Brimstone Butterfly– one of the few UK butterflies which overwinter as adults, I’ve been watching this beautiful female which will have emerged from eggs laid by the overwintering generation. They will be around feeding all autumn, building up for their hibernation. Opinion is divided as to whether the colour of the much more yellow male of this species (see other photo) gave rise to the generic name of ‘butter’-fly, but male and female are both beautiful and distinctly shaped. The caterpillars rely on buckthorn and alder buckthorn so please grow either in your patch if you can (Can be bought from Ashridge Nurseries mail order) Conditions– sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 20- Min 11C.

Female Brimstone butterfly feeding on Knapweed

Female Brimstone butterfly

Male Brimstone Butterfly feeding on Scabious


12th April 2017

The enchanting and beautiful Brimstone butterfly, one of the few UK butterflies which overwinter as adults, is out and about in the garden, woodland glades and meadows now so it is a really good time to look out for it. It feeds on our Primroses and Celandines, among other things. The male is a pale lemon with a green tinge, The female is a unique pale green (see photo’s). The caterpillars feed on Alder Buckthorn, a beautiful, small tree which feeds many insects. If you want one, Ashridge Nurseries have them either sold individually or in their wonderful wildlife hedge collection. Conditions: Cloudy, breezy, becoming sunny, after hot sunny spell. Temperature: Max 12- Min 6C.

Male Brimstone feeding on Primroses

Male Brimstone

Brimstone Butterfly- female