FRUIT TREES & SHRUBS THAT ALSO FEED POLLINATORS
Berries: Blueberries flower in spring and summer to provide nectar for pollinators. Raspberry and blackberry provide both nectar and pollen in spring to midsummer.
Citrus: You can plan your citrus varieties to flower for most of the year, providing yourself with juicy and nutritious fruit, and at the same time, nectar and pollen for the pollinators.
Passionfruit: Extremely useful as to can flower twice a year (February-April and JulyNovember) to provide nectar and pollen. Passionfruit needs a warm, frost-free location in full
Apple, pear, peach and plum trees are all fantastic for producing not just fruit for us, but also nectar and pollen for the pollinators in late winter and spring.
Hebe ‘Wiri Charm’ (right) Hebe is the largest genus of native plants; nearly all 100 or so species occur here and nowhere else. The tight clusters of flowers occur from spring to late summer. Some species, such as the common white roadside shrub Hebe salicifolius, provide nectar over a long period. Hebes are a specially good butterfly plant and all the different cultivars from groundcovers to small trees are great for pollinators. Sophora microphylla (left) Being furry with an electrostatic charge, bees attract and pick up pollen which they sweep and groom into pollen baskets on their legs for transport, and while kowhai is traditionally a magnet for bird pollination, bumblebees often steal nectar by chewing a hole in the base of the flowers (as they are too fat to squeeze in!) With late winter/ early spring blooms, kowhai help support pollinators at a lean time of year too.
Leptospermum scoparium (left): Though relatively brief in its flowering, manuka is one of the best plants you can grow for pollinators of all kinds. The sheer exuberance of the flowering is what draws in the wildlife. Flowers range from deep reds to dazzling whites and shimmering pinks such as this cultivar ‘Keatleyi’. Double manuka flowers are fine to choose as they have open centres which still allow insects to feed on the nectar within.
Parsonsia heterophylla (right): There are three species of native jasmine but Parsonsia heterophylla is the most common. It makes a dainty summerflowering nectar plant not used in our gardens often enough. It likes a shaded root run with its head in the sun so plant in an enriched soil and place a rock over the roots to keep them cool. The juvenile foliage is not that attractive so you may have to wait a few years before the sweet smelling flowers arrive.