honey bee plants

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by honey bee, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. honey bee

    honey bee Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C.
    I would like to know the name of a shrub that is approximately 10 feet tall, it has sweeping branches, large ovate medium green leaves with sprays of tiny white flowers. The flowers are covered with honey bees and the main stems of the plant appear to be cane like. As we have honey bees for a hobby we are always interested in the type of plants that attract this busy insect.
     
  2. wrygrass2

    wrygrass2 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Spokane, WA, USA
    Hi,

    The only shrub I can think of with cane-like main branches is Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea or Blue Elderberry. The leaf on it is compound - pinnate, though, with 5-9 leaflets. Can be ovate (pointed at each end), but also can be longer, (lanceolate-shaped like the head of a lance), in outline. Follows my illustration of a compound-pinnate leaf, such as it is. :)

    ..........().......... Where () and ^ represent leaves and - and | represent
    .......^-|-^ ...... leaf stalks. (the periods were added because this text box
    .......^-|-^....... deletes leading spaces-het)

    Elderberry is just a guess but to see if my luck in flower id this week is holding check the University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History site for photos to compare your plant with. :)

    A photo of leaves and flowers, if possible, would be of a great help in identification.

    Harry
     
  3. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    hb--also check out buddleia, there are some white flowering forms of those in bloom now. Very attractive to insects.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Ok, I'll pitch in my guess: Japanese knotweed. See this thread to compare against the photographs, and this thread for other information. Note that if it is indeed this plant, it is invasive and should not be propagated.
     
  5. honey bee

    honey bee Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C.
    Hi Daniel Mosquin;

    We compared the photos and the plant is definately Knotweed, too bad it is so invasive as our Books say that it is one of the best Honey Bee plants. Most of the properties around here are quite large so we will have to rely on the neighbours having it on their properties??

    Thank you, from honey bee
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
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    honey bee, some plants that I've noticed at UBC BG that are favourites of bees:

    Lavender (Lavandula spp.) (throughout the summer)

    Beebee tree (Tetradium glabrifolium) - see it behind the office building at UBC BG in two week's time - it will be alive with bees into October - unfortunately, I don't think it is easy to find in cultivation

    Sweet pepperbush (Clethra spp.) - another one I'm not sure of how easy to source, but again a favourite of bees this time of year

    Enkianthus campanulatus (April - May)

    University of Vermont extension has an article on bee gardening which may be of some interest to you.

    As for relying on Japanese knotweed to be in your neighbourhood - well, once it's there, it's almost impossible to eradicate (it is the symbol of the Invasive Species Weblog after all...). It may be great for bees, but it displaces other plants and the associated fauna (including insects), so a "big-picture" view suggests bees pollinating it (and helping it reproduce) are actually doing a disservice to many other local organisms. My suggestion is to encourage a diversity of flora and fauna on your property, by seeking out a number of different kinds of bee-attracting plants that are "well-behaved".
     
  7. DandyLioness

    DandyLioness Active Member

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    Location:
    Victoria BC Canada
    My Enkianthus is very popular with the bees. They absolutley love that shrub.
     

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