Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire



Isn’t he lovely?

We’ve never seen an Elephant Hawk-moth, but we find their larvae in the polytunnels most years.   And they still make us jump.

Elephant Hawk Moth larvae

Elephant Hawk Moth larva

The moths are common across the whole of the UK, and internet message boards fill up at this time of year with questions from gardeners who’ve found these giants in their gardens, usually feasting on Fuchsias .   We haven’t grown Fuchsias in any volume for years, but the larvae’s other food of choice is Rosebay Willow Herb, and there is loads of that in the hedgerows around here, so there are probably thousands of these monsters in the neighbourhood.

The chap in the photo seemed to have developed a taste for Tricyrtis, because Nick found him hiding amongst a stand of  T. hirta ‘Tojen’ in the back tunnel, with some seriously nibbled leaves around and about.

These guys are BIG – this one is about the size of your index finger – so they must eat a serious volume of foliage in their lifetimes.

Not wishing to harm such a magnificent beast, but also wanting to preserve some Tricyrtis for our customers, we carefully transferred this chap to a pot saucer (which is where he was photographed) and then re-homed him on some willow herb on the roadside.

We’re looking forward to seeing a moth any time soon!

One Response to “Isn’t he lovely?”

  1. victor eaton Says:

    Wow just seen one of these crawling along the path wondered what the devil it was but now i know so thanks for putting the pictures on regards vic
    i

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