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01/06/2014 at 16:54

It's incredible what you can find when you least expect it. We'd just rescued a tired bee and given it a meal of honey. I was now bored watching it feed so I walked around the garden taking photos. I was taking photos of the Dame's Violet when I noticed in the middle of the frame was this. 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/47724.jpg?width=350

 

 

 

 

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/47725.jpg?width=350

 

 

 

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/47728.jpg?width=350

 

 

 

 

 

Then imagine my amazement when I followed him has he flew off when I saw what he was flying off to.

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/47727.jpg?width=350

 

 

 

 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/47729.jpg?width=350

 

 

 

 

 

I'll insert a video of this amorous pair.

Oh, in case you're wondering. They're Orange Tips. Anthocharis cardamines

 

Here's the link

 

KEF
01/06/2014 at 17:10

I've never seen a butterfly like that Jim. Wonder what they are, sure someone will know.  

01/06/2014 at 17:13

Sorry Kef I meant to say. It's an Orange Tip - Anthocharis cardamines. They're here for my Lady's smock

01/06/2014 at 17:14

Lovely Jim, absolutely lovely 

KEF
01/06/2014 at 17:16

Thanks Jim, as Dove says they are lovely.

01/06/2014 at 17:19
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

Lovely Jim, absolutely lovely 

Yeah, I feel so lucky. I've seen them down the meadows a few times now but this is the first time I've seen them in the garden. Looks like I'm doing some good.

01/06/2014 at 17:23

That's brill Jim

I've never seen an orange tip before at least not a male...

01/06/2014 at 17:30
Victoria Sponge wrote (see)

That's brill Jim

I've never seen an orange tip before at least not a male...

Sow some Lady's Smock (Cuckoo flower) Cardamine pratensis. That's their main food plant. And they obviously like Dame's Violet flowers.

I've inserted the video link already I hope it works, I'm taking the dogs out to see if we can see some more.

01/06/2014 at 17:41

Coincidentally I saw one of these in my garden today and was wondering what type it was.

Thanks Jim

01/06/2014 at 18:13

Beautiful creature jim.  Nice story.  Must keep my eyes open a little more 

01/06/2014 at 19:05

Thanks everyone. Such a lovely day. I inserted a link above in the original post to the video. You'll have to share your visitors  Pauline, I'm glad I solved your mystery.

01/06/2014 at 19:39

The larvae like Jack by the Hedge, Alliaria petiolata as well but the Cardamine is much prettier and less inclined to garden domination.

Beautiful video Jim

01/06/2014 at 20:15

Thank you Jim - it took me back to when I had a garden running down to a stream, the other side of which was a water-meadow full of Lady's Smock - it was such a picture at this time of year and the butterflies were magical 

02/06/2014 at 08:19

Thanks both. Nut, I have plenty of Jack by the Hedge too. A bit too much.

02/06/2014 at 08:57

That's why you've got the Orange tips - they don't think it's too much - they obviously think it's just right 

02/06/2014 at 09:53

Well done Jim to capture the moment and share it on here. Beautiful

02/06/2014 at 11:04
02/06/2014 at 11:39

I saw my first orange tip of this spring on some Jack by the Hedge while out for a walk a few weeks ago   I've got lots of Hesperis in the garden but no signs of orange tips here - I shall endeavour to grow Jack by the Hedge as well. 

02/06/2014 at 19:05

you wan't have to endeavour too hard it's very easy but very shallow rooted so easy to pull up if you think it's getting out of hand. It adds an extra note to a salad chopped up, should you be in need of something extra with your lettuce.  

08/06/2014 at 00:37

Thanks Jim

The Orange Tip is such a beautiful butterfly, quite possibly my favourite native British species. When you get close to a newly emerged specimen the green marbling on the underside of the hindwing is awesome.

The larval food plant debate is interesting because alongside the native plant species that you listed above the Butterfly Conservation Trust website includes this comment: "In addition it lays its eggs on Honesty (Lunaria annua) and Dame's-violet (Hesperis matronalis) in gardens, but larval survival is thought to be poor on these plants."

So the moral of the story seems to be that if we truly want to support these species throughout all phases of the life-cycle we need to make a little room in our gardens for their native food plants, such as the Lady's Smock and Jack-by-the-Hedge already mentioned. 

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