FRUIT TREES & SHRUBS THAT ALSO FEED POLLINATORS

The Bay Chronicle - - SITUATIONS VACANT -

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

sun.

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.

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