Sterile Plants and Pollinators such as bees

Asked October 19, 2017, 3:25 PM EDT

Do Sterile Plants produce pollen? If a sterile plant produces no pollen, I assume they are not the best type of plant for native and/or honey bees? How do we know if a "cultivar" we may want to buy at the nursery is sterile or not?

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Great questions, things we just did not worry about before. There is more than one way for a plant to be sterile. I am not aware of what is most common, but sterility could be from a lack of pollen or a non-functional pistil, or a lack of functioning ovaries. Your nursery people should be able to find out which form of sterility is involved any of their offerings by contacting their plant supplier. Even if there is no pollen, bees do also need some nectar, especially honey bees, so some sterile flowers can still be important to them.