Saturday, 4 August 2012
Ragwort seems to get a bad press - ramped up by the British Horse Society - and it is toxic if eaten in large amounts by horses, but only if they eat kilos of the stuff. And as I'm not allowed to keep livestock on my plot this doesn't concern me unduly. In fact there are a lot of myths about ragwort as pointed out on this site. Ragwort is not toxic if handled by humans. Bees and hoverflies enjoy the flowers of this native wildflower and there are many other species which require its nectar and pollen. It is often a major and important resource for many declining species - there are at least thirty species of invertebrates which are totally dependent on ragwort as a food source, including the caterpillar of the funky cinnabar moth. So be nice to ragwort.