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Working on the assumption that all wild flowers are attractive to pollinating insects, I ordered 3 Sweet Woodruff on ebay before I googled it. Various sites say that it is a natural insect deterrent and useful for companion planting around roses. Oh dear, have I made a booboo? Or do all plants need some insects for pollination? It looks so lovely and I can't wait for them to arrive but do so want to have a more insect-friendly garden.



This plant is self fertile, so doesn't need pollinating, but pollinators for it are listed as flies and bees. I doubt bees avoid the flowers, but the dried leaves and seeds are used as a moth repellant. Not one of the best sources of nectar for lots of insects, there are much better ones - most insects prefer flowers in sun, when the nectar supply is greater, and this plant prefers a shadier, damp situation.

20 Feb, 2012


I have had it in the past and hoverflies seemed to like it. but if you really like it then go for it. not a booboo at all MBD

Not all wild flowers are insect pollinated, there are plenty that are wind pollinated.

if you are encouraging wildlife then chose single rather than double forms as they are 'open' to the visiting insects.

20 Feb, 2012


Picking up on Seaburn's reference to non double flowers - Dahlias are a good example of plants which can either be very insect friendly, or not in the last insect friendly. Choose the open, daisy flowered type, not the pompoms or the spiky ball looking ones. And try to avoid F1 hybrid summer bedding - the majority of them have compromised pollen and nectar production, or none at all.

20 Feb, 2012


Thanks Bamboo and SBG. I'll look stuff up before I order in future, but they sound ok and will brighten up a shady spot so I'm pleased that bees and hoverflies will at least visit.
I'll take note about the doubles although I haven't got any except Kerria which was here when I came. And I don't do bedding plants as a rule, perhaps some tobacco plants (don't know if they're classed as bedding). I've never heard of F1 before.

20 Feb, 2012


Ha ha, sorry, Merlinbaby, complicating the picture by mentioning F1 ...

20 Feb, 2012


Filial 1!! Offspring of two different species? Also applies to animals. Aren't I clever? Wonderful Wikipedia and naughty Bamboo for being foxy!

20 Feb, 2012


Not exactly what I meant, Merlinbaby... F1 hybrids have been crossed and crossed and crossed within species to get THAT particular colour with THAT particular form, in other words, a particular variety - they are patented, and do not usually produce viable seed, or any seed at all in some cases - because all that breeding has removed or compromised pollen/nectar production. An example would be Great Universal pansies (the original 'winter' pansy).

21 Feb, 2012


Going back to insects, a clump of golden marjoram in our garden is a magnet for many kinds of bee and hover fly and is full of them all summer.

21 Feb, 2012


Sorry for late reply but thankyou for your help Bamboo and Steragram. I'll get some marjoram! F1 hybrids deffo not on my shopping list. I certainly didn't know that universal pansies have been so bred.

25 Feb, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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