Pulmonaria Officinalis -
A Wonderful Early Flowering Plant For Bees

Pulmonaria officinalis is an excellent early-flowering nectar source for bees, and a perennial plant from the Boraginaceae family.

It is semi-evergreen, with whitish green spots on the leaves, and pinkish-blue flowers from early spring.

It is also known as Jerusalem Sage or Common Lungwort.  It grows to about 30cms in height, so it’s best to have a patch at the front of the border

Pulmonaria: An early source of food for bees in spring

I have a good sized patch in my back garden, started from only a couple of small, straggly plants given to me by a neighbour.  They thrived, and now it is a plant I recommend for sharing with your neighbours too, because it’s a really helpful plant to bees when there is little else available for them to forage upon.

It’s loved by a variety of bumble bees in particular, but also hairy-footed flower bees

bumble bee foraging on a single pulmonaria flower

During early spring, foraging can be challenging for bees, largely due to the variability of the weather, and because in general, gardeners tend to have fewer flowers in bloom.  Bulbs, such as crocus, are welcome for some species, but variety is also very important.

Pulmonaria is definitely in my top 10 of favourite bee-plants, simply because it helps provide food for a variety of bees.

Other early-flowering plants and shrubs I favour for bees include rhibes, dandelions, pussy willow, rosemary, heathers and mahonia.

black hairy footed flower bee female foraging on a pulmonaria flower.  She has pollen in the pollen baskets of her rear legs.

gingery colored hairy footed flower bee male foraging on purple pink pulmonaria flowersHairy footed flower bee (male) foraging on Pulmonaria Officinalis

black hairy footed flower bee female flying towards a pulmonaria flower

hairy footed flower bee female on yellow flower

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Hairy-footed flower bee