Wildflowers For Bees, Butterflies And Other Pollinators


Following on from a previous page about wildflowers for bees, I thought it was time to add further information, following a number of queries about what to plant where, in particular species for environments often regarded as more challenging for plants and gardeners.  Common questions have included:

  • Which wildflowers can I plant in a shady area?
  • Will wildflowers survive in my heavy clay soil?
  • I live by the sandy coast, what would you recommend?

 

Bumble bee and leafcutter bee foraging on thistlesBumble bee and leafcutter bee foraging on thistles - thistles are quite hardy and tolerant of a variety of growing conditions - although not everyone would want them in the flower border.

Having done some research, I came up with the following lists of wildflowers for bees and butterflies, for some particular conditions.  However, please note, I haven’t tested all of these myself! 

Some species appear to be quite adaptable in terms of their environment, whilst others appear to be more fussy!  There are some great resources available on the internet – see my links below to plant databases where you can search for ‘plants by postcode/zipcode’.

In the meantime, here are my lists:

Ad - Paid Link:


Wildflowers Tolerant of Shade

When considering your options for a shady spot, think of the flowers found in the dappled sunlight of woodlands (as in the image below), and wildflowers beneath hedgerows for inspiration.

Beautiful English bluebells thrive in the light shade of woodland.Beautiful English bluebells thrive in the light shade of woodland.


Bumble bee foraging on bluebell.Bumble bee foraging on bluebell.

You may struggle with very heavy shade, however, to attract bees and other pollinators.

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

Wood avens

Hedge Bedstraw

Nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium)

Betony

Bluebell

Meadow buttercup

Foxglove

Red Campion

Ramsons / wild garlic  (Allium ursinum)



Red mason bee flying toward wild garlic.Red mason bee flying toward wild garlic.

Teasel

Tufted vetch

Columbine

St John’s Wort

Bush vetch

Wood sage

Hedge woundwort


Wildflowers Which Are Tolerant of Clay Soil

Red-tailed bumble bee male on hemp agrimony.Red-tailed bumble bee male on hemp agrimony.


Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

Betony

Bird’s Foot Trefoil 

Black Medick

Meadow Buttercup

White Campion

Cowslip

Common Knapweed

Common carder bumble bee - Bombus pascuorum on common knapweed.Common carder bumble bee - Bombus pascuorum on common knapweed.


Greater Knapweed

Lady’s Bedstraw

Meadowsweet

Oxeye Daisy


Davies' colletes on oxeye daisy.Davies' colletes on oxeye daisy.


Wildflowers Tolerant of Coastal Areas, Dry Sandy Conditions

Think of the flowers you naturally see when you are on holiday by the beach or close to the coast (in your own country, of course).

Ad - Paid Link:


Bird’s Foot Trefoil

Sea Campion

Evening Primrose

Common Knapweed

Poppy

Toadflax

Viper’s Bugloss

Coastal leafcutter bee - Megachile maritima - female - foraging on restharrow.Coastal leafcutter bee - Megachile maritima - female - foraging on restharrow.


Kidney vetch

Common restharrow

Corn marigold

St John’s wort

Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon (Tragopogon pratensis)

Common Cat's-ear (Hypochaeris radicata)  

Salad Burnet

Field Scabious

Selfheal

Wild Carrot

Teasel

Wild Clary

Yarrow

Yellow Rattle

Ad - Paid Link:



How Can I Include Wildflowers For Bees And Butterflies In My Garden?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Create a mini-meadow or wildflower patch.  See my page ‘lawns for bees’.

  2. Add them to your rockery.  Good candidates include selfheal, ajuga, bird’s foot trefoil, evening primrose, cowslip – I have the first four of these in my own rockery.

  3. Plant them in your garden inter-mingled with your border plants.  I have found this is easily achieved with a number of species which I have experimented with in my small garden.  From the lists above, I currently have poppy, foxgloves, forget-me-not, and hedge woundwort (I have other flowers from my general lists of wildflowers for bees see here).  Teasels are on my list to add into the border at some point.  I have seen them in other gardens, and they provide real visual interest in a border, as well as being beneficial for pollinators. Read more about creating flower borders for bees.

  4. Fill planters – why not?  Again, there are lots of pretty candidates that would not look out of place!  Try forget-me-nots, low growing, creeping wildflowers, and poppies.

 





You might like these







How Eating Organic
Helps The Bees
Read



Create a
lawn for bees








Go back from Wildflowers For Bees to Home page





Ad - Paid Link:





Ad - Paid Link:





AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:  
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.



COPYRIGHT 2010 - 2019: WWW.BUZZABOUTBEES.NET
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.