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Spring Flowers aren't the Best Pollinators

Ever wonder why you don’t see early bees buzzing around daffodils and tulips, but they go bananas for dandelions? Katie Schmidt from the Dyck Arboretum in Heston Kansas wondered too.

Here is her explanation of why bulbs aren’t big pollinator attractors:

Long before people started admiring their blooms, most of our favorite bulb flowers were being visited by pollinators.

Such is not the case for today: modern hybrids selected for the biggest bloom and brightest color sometimes become less useful to pollinators.

Flowers that have been distorted too far from their original form may have less nectar or be entirely sterile, rendering them useless as a food source.

Hybridization can also sacrifice the flower’s strong scent, leaving aroma-sensing pollinators (like nocturnal moths) lost without lunch.

As humans try to improve flowers for our own eye, we inadvertently disrupt their role in nature.

Insects and flowers have an important relationship directly related to the flower’s form. If it changes drastically, certain insects may no longer be able to reach the nectar.

Because of this, avoid buying highly modified ‘double’ and ‘triple’ bloomers or extra-petaled flowers that will likely inhibit a pollinator’s ability to feed.

Read the full article at: https://dyckarboretum.org/tag/native-bulbs/

Photo by Benjamin Grenier on Unsplash

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