As many of you will already know, Striped Lychnis Shargacucullia lychnitis is a nationally scarce moth whose surviving strongholds are now restricted to the Chilterns, Hampshire and Sussex. The adult moth is rarely seen so surveying for the species is carried out by looking for its brightly-coloured caterpillars in July and August. They feed almost exclusively on the flowers of dark mullein Verbascum nigrum.
To try and
help this priority species, BC Upper Thames Branch and its members have over the
past year been successfully growing lots of dark mullein plants from seed. We still
have a supply of seeds available. If you would like to try your hand at growing some for your garden, provided that you live within the area ringed in red on the map below and would be able to offer the plants an open, sunny position to maximise their appeal to the moth, then please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Dr Tony Gillie at 53 Ramsay Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 8AY. The seeds are available free of charge on a first-come first-served basis while stocks last.