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Alphabet for Pollinators – D is for Dandelions

Dandelions

Dandelions – Cheer and nectar in early spring. Pollen too.

Dandelions are the first D pollinator plant I think of.  They bloom in the very early spring and my Heath lawn had lots of dandelions every spring. I  thought they very pretty and I also thought they were important for bees who needed nectar and pollen when the hives became active.

It seems there are differences of opinion,  although they are not totally worthless. The Guardian International thinks dandelions are very useful to pollinators in the early spring. The Daily Journal of Kankakee, Illinois takes a different view, although they do not say  the dandelions are completely worthless to pollinators.

The Pesticide Action Network UK says bees definitely need dandelions. Maybe Kankakee is just more particular about their lawns.

Double bird’s foot trefoil, Lotus plenus, is another lawn substitute. it has two inch dense dark green foliage with ruffled yellow flowers in  the summer.

There are other low growing plants that sometimes substitute for grass in a lawn. Many of us might be familiar with Dianthus gratianopolitanus under the title cheddar pinks. They are only about one or two inches tall and have sweet clove scented pink flowers in mid-spring. It does tolerate mild foot traffic.

Double bird’s foot trefoil, Lotus plenus, is another lawn substitute. it has two inch dense dark green foliage with ruffled yellow flowers in  the summer. It is often used as a ground cover, but it can be used on a lawn, or on a bank.

Queen Anne's Lace

Daucus carota Queen Anne’s Lace

Daucus carota, Queen Anne’s Lace, is one of my favorite flowers. This grows along the roadsides. I don’t know why I never see it in a garden.  Maybe I just haven’t seen enough gardens. I will have to work on that.

Daucus carota Queen Anne’s Lace

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