In my blog on Addition to my terrace garden(3) I have described Srilankan Tagar or Moon beam flower. Recently I added a local variety of this plant to my garden as it flowers profusely and is true to its name moon beam. It is also known as Crape Jasmine or Pinwheel. This evergreen garden shrub originated in India and is very popular in the country. It has two forms, single which is wild and double is cultivated. I have added the single form. It is used for making garlands. The leaves are glossy green in color. The plant has been used as a traditional medicine for treatment of various diseases. The sad part of the blog is that as the plant was growing it was attacked one day by Caterpillars. For a couple of days I was wondering what has happened to the plant as I had not noticed the caterpillars which were wonderfully camouflaged. One day I saw small seed like particles on the floor around the container. First I thought they were seeds of some plant in the vicinity but there was no such plant that can give this type of seeds. Next day on close examination I saw a big green caterpillar on one of the branches and was shocked to see the speed with which it was devouring the leaves, buds and flowers. The speed was really amazing. On further examination I saw five more caterpillars feasting on the plant. A little search showed me that they were butterfly caterpillars and they will enter the third stage of their life cycle the pupa. The seed like particles were their droppings. I decided to wait further to see what happens but to my surprise the next day morning none except one remained on the plant. I thought they must have been eaten by birds or they have crawled to some unknown destiny. I gave up the search and removed the remaining caterpillar to another container as there was nothing left on the plant for it to feed. I don’t know what has happened to it. I am hoping that the plant will survive and start making leaves and flowers in due course. I learnt that one has to be very vigilant in the garden.
Droppings of caterpillar
Caterpillars and Destruction
-- Bagwan-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein