- Author: Christine Casey
The May bee plant of the month is the rose. While many plants in the rose family are well-used by bees, few have as much appeal in the garden as roses. Rose family crops pollinated by bees include almonds, apples, strawberries, and raspberries. In addition to these crops, the Haven features a number of landscape plants in this family: Catalinia cherry, creambush, mountain mahogany, ninebark, spirea, toyon, and Washington hawthorn.
When selecting roses for a bee garden, choose plants with single flowers.
Roses in the Haven include the Arboretum All-Star butterfly rose, Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis', the California rose, Rosa californica, and the Nootka rose, Rosa nutkana. The foliage of all is used by leafcutter bees in nest construction. The butterfly rose, which reaches up to 6 feet tall and wide, blooms from early spring until frost. Flowers are a mix of yellow, pale pink, and deep pink. The California and Nootka roses are California natives that grow naturally in riparian areas. These two are covered with pink flowers in spring and spread to form dense thickets that can make a useful barrier along fences or under windows. All three roses are water-wise and will grow with a deep soaking every few weeks.