Flowering periods in brackets


Ornamental trees – small

  • Winter flowering cherry. Prunus subhirtella autumnalis (Nov – Mar) P [S]
  • Goat / Pussy Willow – Salix caprea – (March – April) P [A / W ]
  • Ornamental Almond. Prunus dulcis (March) [A]
  • Magnolia stellata ( Mar – April) P [A]
  • Crab apple Malus x zumi ‘Golden Hornet’ (April – May)N P [A]
  • Malus sargentii (April – May) NP [A]
  • Acer ‘Atropurpureum’ (May – Jun) NP [A]
  • Willow. Salix. S.hastate (Feb – Mar) NP [A]


  • Common or Cherry Laurel Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundfolia’ (Apr) NP *A+
  • P.laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ (Apr) NP *A+
  • Hawthorn. Crataegus monogyna (May) NP [A]
  • Pyracantha coccinea (May June ) NP [A]
  • Portuguese laurel – Prunus lusitanica (Jun) NP [A]
  • Holly – Ilex aquifolium (may Jun) NP [A]
  • Cotoneaster – many choices available – evergreen types good for hedges. C. damerii (Jun) NP [A]


Flowering shrubs – large

  • Winter Honeysuckle. Lonicera fragrantissima (Feb – Apr) NP
  • Quince. Chaenomeles speciosa (Mar – Jun) NP [A]
  • Cornelian cherry Cornus mas (Feb – April) N P [A]
  • Ceanothus ( April – May) NP [A]
  • Forsythia ovata. (Mar – April) NP [A]
  • F.x intermedia “Beaatrix Farrand’ (Mar – April) NP [A]
  • Lilac – syringa spp. ( April – June) NP [A]
  • Broom/Common Broom. Cytisus scoparius (May –June) NP [A]
  • Escallonia ‘Appleblossom’ (May – Oct) NP [A]
  • Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ (May)NP *A+
  • Viburnum davidii ( May – Jun) NP [A]
  • Orange ball tree. Buddleia globosa (May – Jun) N [A]
  • Cotoneaster – over 100 different ones to choose from:
  • C. horizontalis (May – Jun) NP [A]
  • C. microphyllus (May – Jun) NP [A]
  • Berberis ‘Semperflorens’ (May – June) NP [A]
  • Berberis x carminea “Buccaneer’ (Jun – Jul) NP [A]
  • Abelia chinensis (Jul- Aug) NP [A]
  • Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’ (Jul – Sep) NP [A]
  • Butterfly bush. Buddleia davidii (Jul – Sept) N [A]
  • Myrtle. Myrtus communis (Jul – Oct) NP [A]

Shrub Roses

  • Rosa ‘Angelina’ (Jul – Oct) [A]
  • Rosa ‘Balerina’ (Jul – Oct) [A]
  • Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ (Nov- March) NP [A/S]
  • Viburnum tinus ( Nov – May) NP [A/S]
  • Mahonia spp (Dec – May) [A/S]
  • M. x media “Charity’ (Dec- March) [A/S]
  • M. japonica (Jan – March) NP [A/S]

Flowering shrubs -Small/medium

  • Rosemary. Rosmarinus officinalis (Apr-May) NP [A/S]
  • Wigelia .florida (May Jun) N [A/S]
  • Choysya ternata ( May – Jun & Aug – Sep) P [A/S]
  • Rock Rose. (May – Jul) Helianthemum NP
  • Lavender Lavandula angustifolia (May – Aug) NP
  • Hebes – many varieties. (Jun – Oct) Hebe ‘Blue Gem’ N *A/S+
  • Philadelphus spp. (Jun- July) NP
  • Deutzia (Jun – Jul) P [A/S]
  • Potentilla. P. fruticosa (Jun – Nov) NP [A/S]
  • Rose of Sharon. Hypericum calycinum (Jul – Sep) P [A/S]
  • Fuschias – numerous. F.macrostemma, F.magellanica (Jun – Aug) NP [S]
  • Hydrangea.paniculata (Aug – Oct) [A]


  • Clematis cirrhosa (Dec-Feb) NP [A/S]
  • Clematis armandii ( Apr – May) NP
  • Hydrangea petularis (May – Jun) NP [A/S]
  • Clematis x jackmanii (Jul – Oct) [A/S]
  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Aug) NP


  • Lungwort. Pulmonaria (Jan – May) P [A]
  • Cranesbill/ Hardy geraniums. Many varieties. (May – Sep) NP [S]
  • Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ , G.ibericum, G. endresii *S+
  • Geum (May–Sep) NP [S]
  • Tree mallow. Lavatera arborea (Aug – Sep) NP [S]
  • Ice plant. Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy’ (sep-Nov) N [S]
  • Christmas Rose. Helleborus niger (Dec – April) NP [S]
  • H. foetidus (Feb – April) NP
  • Catmint/catnip. Nepeta (Jun – Sep) NP [S]
  • Michaelmas daisy. Aster (Aug – Oct) [S]
  • Aster dumosus ‘Lady In Blue’, A.amellus “Brilliant’ *S+
  • Salvias. S.farinacea (Jun – Nov) NP [S]
  • Sage. Salvia officinalis (May – Jul) NP [S]
  • Bell flower. Campanula various (Jul – Sep) NP [S]
  • Poppies. Papaver various annual and perennial (May – Oct) P [S]
  • Red Hot Pokers – Kniphofia caulescens ( Sep – Oct)NP [S]
  • Japanese wind flower Anenome x hybrida (Aug – Nov) P [S]


  • Cosmos ( July – Aug) PN [S]
  • Pansies– Universal range (Sep – May) N [A/S]
  • Viola – V. cornuta (Apr– Oct) N [A/S]
  • Sweet violet. V.odorata [A/S]
  • Hardy Annual Mallow – Lavatera trimestris “Lovliness” ‘Mont blanc’ ‘Silver cup’
  • Jul – Oct) NP [S]


  • Snowdrops – Galanthus nivalis ( Jan- Apr) NP [A]
  • Winter aconite. Eranthis hyemalis (Jan – Feb) NP [A]
  • Crocus (Feb – April) NP [A]
  • C. tomasinianus, C. chrysanthus ‘Blue Pearl’ ‘Snow Bunting’
  • Grape Hyacinth – Muscari (Mar – May) NP [A]
  • Anenome apinina (Mar – May) P [A]
  • Wood anenome – anenome nemorosa (Mar – May) P [A]
  • Chives. Allium schoenoprasum. (Jun – Aug) NP
  • Allium flatuense (Jun – Jul) NP
  • Alliums pp.


Spring – March – May

  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) N P
  • Cherry. (Prunus spp)

There are many to choose from but avoid double flowered varieties.

  • Bird Cherry (p.padus) . Long racemes of white flowers
  • Sour cherry (p. cerasus) Small shrubby tree. Profuse flowers
  • Cherry plum (p. cerasifera) N PWide range of cultivars. Some with purple foliage
  • Wild cherry (Gean) Prunus avium N P
  • Joshino cherry P. x yeodoensis small ornamental cherry N P

Chestnuts, Horse chestnuts (aesculus spp.)

  • Large, attractive trees. NP
  • Aesculus hippocastanum White flowers. Apr–May
  • A. carnea Red flowers, slightly later. May

Crab Apples

  • Beautiful medium sized trees. Spring NP
  • Malus spp & hybrids. Many named varieties: John
  • Downie, Profusion, Golden Hornet.


Common, wild, small, shrubby trees May NP Erratic, but can be profuse producers of nectar

  • Crataegus oxycantha, C. monogyna
  • C. prunifolia, C. crus-galli, and many other species.


  • Early catkins a valuable source of pollen. Mar–Apr P
  • Corylus avellana, C. maxima

Judas Tree

  • Pretty small tree, purple pea-flowers on bare stems. Apr–May NP
  • Cercis siliquastrum


  • The decorative Japanese maples rarely flower in the UK, but the larger species are all excellent bee plants. Spring (N)P
  • Acer campestris Field maple, native tree.
  • A. macrophyllum Oregon maple.
  • A. negundo Box elder.
  • A. opalus Italian maple.
  • A. platanoides Norway maple.

Mountain Ash

Many other cultivated species.

  • Sorbus aucuparia Spring NP

Snowdrop tree

Pretty, small tree. Bunches of flowers along branches.

  • Halesia carolina May NP

Sweet Gum

  • Liquidambar styraciflua and hybrids. Spring (N)


  • Valuable nectar source. May NP
  • Acer pseudoplatanus


  • Sorbus aria Common whitebeam. May–Jun NP

Fruit Trees –

All are good sources of pollen and many are also excellent nectar producers.


Earliest to flower. Profuse nectar producer.

  • Prunus dulcis N


Can be grown as cordons and ‘bush’ forms suitable for small gardens. Range of varieties, flowering from early April to late May. Good nectar producers.

  • Malus pumila NP


Large trees, good nectar producers.

  • Prunus cerasus NP


Large white flowers.

  • Mespilus germanica May P

Peach & nectarine

Early flowering, good nectar producer.

  • Prunus persica N


Weak nectar, rarely collected.

  • Prunus communis Mar–Apr P


Good nectar source.

  • Prunus domestica Early Apr NP


Good nectar source.

  • Cydonia oblonga Spring NP


Summer – June – August

Chestnuts /Horse Chestnuts

  • A. indica Indian horse chestnut. Pink flowers. May–Jun
  • A. californica Buckeye. White/pink flowers. Jul–Aug

Chestnut, Sweet or Spanish

  • Castanea sativa Jul (N)P

Eucalyptus spp.

Evergreen, aromatic foliage.
Some hardy in the UK. Late summer (N)

  • E. gunnii, E. niphophila, E. parviflora.


Evergreen. Large, beautiful, single white flowers.

  • glutinosa, E. nyamansensis Aug–Sep NP

False Acacia

  • Robinia pseudoacacia Fragrant white flowers. Jun NP
  • R. viscosa Clammy locust. Late Jun NP
  • R. hispida Rose acacia. May-Jun NP

Golden Rain tree

Large, loose panicles yellow flowers

  • Koelreuteria paniculata Jul–Aug (N)

Hop tree

Related to Tetrodium. Aromatic leaves, small white flowers, highly scented. Profuse nectar source.

  • Ptelea trifoliata Jun–Jul N


  • Evergreen, tiny flowers, attractive to . May-Jun NP
  • Ilex aquifolium, I. opaca and spp.

Honey Locust

Long branched spines on trunk,
scented flowers. (N)

Gleditsia tricanthos

Indian Bean Tree

Magnificent, spreading trees withpanicles of scented, foxglove-like,
speckled flowers. Jul–Aug NP

  • Catalpa bignonioides, C. fargesii, C. ovata Jul–Aug NP

June Berry, Snowy mespilus.

Beautiful tree, masses of white flowers in spring, edible fruits in June. Spring (N)P

  • Amelanchier lamarckii


Can supply large quantities of nectar when conditions are right but can be erratic.
Aphids on some species produce honey-dew. (N)

  • Tilia cordata Small leaved lime. Late Jul
  • T. x euclora Crimea lime. No honeydew. Jul–Aug
  • T. x europaea Common lime. Jun–Jul
  • T. maximowicziana Japanese lime. Jun
  • T. x orbicularis Hybrid lime. Jul–Aug
  • T. petiolaris Weeping silver lime. Jul–Aug
  • T. platyphyllos Broad leaved lime. Jun–Jul
  • T. tomentosa Silver lime. Jul

Tree of Heaven

Large town tree. Jul–Aug N

  • Ailanthus altissima

Tulip Tree

Large tulip-like flowers. Jun–Jul (N)

  • Liriodendron tulipifera


  • S. intermedia Swedish whitebeam. Jun NP


Autumn – September – October

Autumn flowering cherry.

  • P. subhirtella autumnalis . P


Evergreen. Large, beautiful, single white flowers.

  • glutinosa, E. nyamansensis Aug–Sep NP

Chinese bee tree

Small tree with strongly scented small white flowers. Profuse nectar source

  • Tetrodium (Euodia) danielli, (hupehensis) Aug–Oct NP

Pagoda tree

Creamy flowers

  • Sophora japonica Sep NP

SHRUBS by season


Spring March – May

Chaenomeles spp

Ornamental quinces. Feb–Apr NP


  • C. montana Apr–May NP


Evergreen small white scented flowers

  • ternata ‘Mexican Orange Blossom’ Apr–Jun P


Wide range of species & hybrids, mostly early flowering.

  • spp Brooms. NP


Evergreen. Also has extrafloral nectaries,very attractive to bees in summer.

  • P. laurocerasus Cherry laurel. Apr NP

Rhododendron spp

Small varieties of rhododendron & azaleas can be worked by .

  • R. ponticum NP

Ribes spp

  • R. sanguineum Flowering Currant. Pink, red or white flowers. Apr NP
  • R. odoratum Buffalo Currant, yellow flowers. Apr NP
  • R. speciosum Red flowers. Apr–May NP

Rosa spp

Only single flowered types such as wild Dog Roses

  • R. rugosa. N P


Evergreen, aromatic herb
Rosmarinus officinalis Apr–May NP

Salix spp

Willows. Numerous small shrubby willows. Good species include:
S. apoda,
S. boydii,
S. hastata,
S. lanata,
S. melanostachys,
S. uva-ursi Early spring NP

Syringa spp & hybrids Lilacs.

Spring NP Wide range of medium & large shrubs, mostly spring flowering, all strongly scented.

  • Viburnum spp

Wide range of evergreen & deciduous shrubs. Good species include:

  • V. burkwoodii Evergreen, scented. Apr NP
  • V. carlesii Scented. Apr NP
  • V. juddii Scented. Apr–May NP


Summer June – August


Soft grey/green vine shaped downy leaves,large saucer-shaped flowers, various colours.

  • vitifolium May–Jul NP
  • Berberis spp Apr–Jul NP

Wide range of species, all attractive to bees.

Buddleia a popular shrub

  • B. alternifolia Long lilac spikes. Jun NP
  • B. globosa Globular orange flowers. May NP
  • B. x weyeriana Orange panicles. Jun–Oct NP

*Ceanothus spp

Wide range of species, all attractive to bees. range from spring to late summer flowering. NP

Cistus spp

Evergreen. Range of colours

  • Rock roses. May–Jul NP

Clematis spp

Climbers. Most large flowered hybrids only produce pollen.

  • C. vitalba Traveller’s Joy, wild clematis. Jun–Jul NP

Cotoneaster spp

Wide range of good garden plants. Loved by all Pollinators Jun NP

Deutzia spp

Very pretty free flowering shrubs. – Summer P

*Escallonia spp & hybrids

Wide range of good garden plants. Evergreen. – NP

  • Eschscholtzia spp

Unusual lovely shrubs, mint-scented leaves, flowers various colours. Good nectar producer. – Late summer–autumn N


Naturalised in S & W. Free-flowering.

  • *F.magellanica Late summer N
  • *Hebe spp

Wide range of sizes from dwarf to large, evergreen, flowering periods vary from Early to late Summer NP

Helianthemum spp & hybrids

Sun roses. P Evergreen dwarf shrubs, many colours.


Only those varieties with fertile florets are used by bees, not the showy sterile ones (Hortensia).

  • H. petiolaris Climber. Jun NP
  • H. paniculata and H. villosa Late summer NP

Kalmia spp

Calico Bush Evergreen, acid soils.

  • K. angustifolia
  • K. latifolia Jun NP

Kolkwitzia amabilis

May–Jun NP Uncommon shrub, easy to grow, beautiful drooping bell-shaped flowers.

Lonicera spp

Honeysuckles. Shrubby honeysuckles have smaller more open flowers, with more available nectar than the climbing varieties. Some flower late winter.

  • L.angustifolia
  • L. standishii
  • L. purpusii NP


Evergreen, fragrant flowers.

  • *Myrtus communis Late summer (N)P

Olearia spp

Daisy bushes.

  • O. haastii White flowers. Jul–Aug NP
  • O. macrodonta Jun NP

Virginia creeper.

  • Parthenocissus quinquefolia Aug NP


Aromatic grey foliage & purple/blue flowers. Excellent bee plant.

  • Perovskia atriplicifolia Aug–Sep NP

Philadelphus spp

Large number of species and varieties, most strongly scented.

  • Mock Orange. Jun–Jul NP


Many varieties & hybrids. Small shrubs, white or yellow flowers. Long flowering period.

  • P. fruticosa NP

Portuguese laurel.

Evergreen.Racemes of heavily scented cream flowers

  • Prunus lusitanica June NP

Pyracantha Firethorn.

  • P. angustifolia,
  • P coccinea May–Jun NP

Symphoricarpos spp

Snowberries. Most produce copious amounts of nectar.

  • S. alba
  • S. occidentalis
  • S. orbiculatus
  • S. Rivularis Jun–Aug NP

Tamarix spp

May–late summer NP
Feathery foliage, profuse masses of Tiny, pink flowers. Varying flowering times from May to late summer.

Ulex Gorse.

Long flowering periods.

  • U.europaeus, U. minor P

Viburnum spp

Wide range of evergreen & deciduous shrubs. Good species include:

  • V. opulus Guelder rose. Jun–Jul NP

Weigela & hybrids

Pink, red or white flowers.

  • W.florida May–Jun N P

Autumn September – October

Clethra alnifolia

Acid soils. Aug–Oct P

  • Eschscholtzia spp

Late summer–autumn N
Unusual lovely shrubs, mint-scented leaves,flowers various colours. Good nectar producer.


Climber, evergreen. Good source of late nectar.

  • helix Ivy. NP


Winter November – February


Evergreen, small bell-like flowers

  • C.cirrhosa. Dec–Feb (N)P

Genista spp

Wide range of garden varieties.

  • Gorses. Early NP

Mahonia spp

Evergreen shrubs with yellow flowers. Valuable pollen source early in the year.

  • M.aquifolium,
  • M. bealei,
  • M. japonica,
  • *M. lomariifolia Winter/spring P

Viburnum spp

Wide range of evergreen & deciduous shrubs. Good species include:

  • V. bodnatense,
  • V.fragrans Winter NP
  • V. tinus
  • V.laurustinus Evergreen. Oct–Mar P



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