RHS launches list of the best wildflowers for bees
by Rhiannon James
As interest in wildflowers continues to blossom, the Royal Horticultural Society is encouraging gardeners to pick the native plants that will provide the biggest benefits to pollinators such as bees.
The new guide, part of the RHS’ Perfect for Pollinators initiative, lists more than 200 wildflowers such as corncockle, teasel and wild parsnip that provide plentiful pollen and nectar for insects and gives advice on where they should be planted.
Bee, butterfly and other pollinating insect populations have suffered serious declines in Britain. Two bumblebee species have become extinct since 1940 and most have seen numbers fall while almost three quarters of UK butterfly species have declined over the last decade. These insects play a vital role in food-growing and in ensuring the survival of those plants that rely on them for pollination.
“Gardens are now increasingly recognised as important environments for maintaining biodiversity,” says Jim Gardiner, RHS Director of Horticulture. “By planting a broad diversity of plants gardeners can do a lot to encourage pollinating insects which, in turn, will bring in other forms of wildlife into their gardens such as birds and hedgehogs.”
The list of cultivated garden plants that are good for pollinators which launched last year has now been extended to more than 400 plants.
The lists can be found at www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Plants-for-pollinators