Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Ragwort is a poisonous plant that is often found in heavily grazed areas, such as the rabbit warren near the old canal:

This is possibly Oxford Ragwort, a variety that 'escaped' from the Oxford Botanic Gardens ( in the 1700's and spread using the railways that were being constructed at the time.

Due to it's poisonous nature, it is a favourite of the cinnabar moth caterpillar:

Who use it's toxicity as a natural defence against predators.

Interesting (and well researched) information regarding the myths associated with Ragworth can be found at: - thanks Kate


  1. I gather it's only poisonous when bundled up and dried in hay - in its fresh form, cattle won't eat it.

    I love your photos of caterpillars!

  2. Some facts about ragwort here:

  3. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for the link, very interesting, I've put it in the main blog entry.