Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

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selbypaul
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Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby selbypaul » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:35 am

Hi folks
I'm just about to replace a privet hedge in my garden with a Buckthorn hedge, with the intention of attracting Brimstone butterflies. Does anyone know whether Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn is more preferred by the Brimstone?
Thanks in advance
Paul

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Vince Massimo
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Re: Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby Vince Massimo » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:59 am

Hi Paul,

I don't think the butterfly has a preference for either species of larval host plant, so your decision should be based upon the type of soil you have. Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is found on calcareous soils while Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) prefers acid soils. I imagine that you would want to keep the spread and height of the hedge under control, but you will not be able to cut it between April and August. I also suspect that the butterfly would prefer an open bush rather a line of cropped plants.

Hope this helps.

Vince

selbypaul
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Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:44 pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby selbypaul » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:57 am

Great, thanks Vince

essexbuzzard
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Re: Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby essexbuzzard » Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:18 pm

Plant in a sunny,sheltered position,as brimstones tend to avoid shady,windy plants. Good luck.

selbypaul
Posts: 274
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:44 pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby selbypaul » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:08 pm

Also good advice. Thanks

Cotswold Cockney
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Re: Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby Cotswold Cockney » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:24 pm

Over the years in Gloucestershire, based on my own observations, the Brimstone prefers Alder Buckthorn locally despite both plants not difficult to find in the Vale of Gloucester or up on the Limestone Hills. Maybe they are easier to find on those "Alder" plants.

Today I counted five very young Brimstone Larvae on my two Potted Alder Buckthorn Plants in my garden... with a bonus on one of them too. A 2/3rds grown Holly Blue Larva feeding on the flower buds and fruits.

Two images of Brimstone larvae and one of Holy Blue :~
Attachments
2017-06-17 Brimstone & Holly Blue Larvae on Alder Buckthorn. 003.JPG
2017-06-17 Brimstone & Holly Blue Larvae on Alder Buckthorn. 004.JPG
2017-06-17 Brimstone & Holly Blue Larvae on Alder Buckthorn. 006.JPG
Cotswold Cockney is the name
All aspects of Natural History is my game.

JohnR
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Location: S.W. Surrey

Re: Buckthorn or Alder Buckthorn

Postby JohnR » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:27 pm

I planted a single Alder Buckthorn and grow it as a tree adjacent to my field hedge which has purging buckthorn in it. I have only seen Brimstone larvae, and only in small numbers, on the Alder Buckthorn.


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