S. Oregon bulbs

Asked September 1, 2020, 5:52 PM EDT

which bulbs can take sunshine and attract bees and birds?

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

Let's focus on bulbs first. Bees are basically seeking nectar and pollen, and many flowering bulbs supply both. Colors of blue, purple, white and yellow are the most attractive to these insects. Usually, nectar is associated with fragrance, so fragrant bulbs may be more attractive than those without fragrance. Here is the John Scheepers Company list of bee-friendly bulbs: Allium (flowering onion), Anemone blanda, Camassia (native forms available), "Glory of the Snow", Crocus, Galanthus, Muscari (Grape hyacinth), Tulip sylvestris (" Woodland tulip" yellow in color) Ornithogalum ("Star of Bethlehem")and Scilla. Please note that narcissus (daffodils, etc.) are not in this list, nor are hybrid tulips.
By birds, we're assuming you are focused on hummingbirds and other nectar seekers such as butterflies. Again, fragrance usually means high nectar production in a flower. Hummingbirds especially like tubular flowers in shades of red, purple or pink .Most other birds search for insects, insect larvae, and seeds as well. We don't necessarily plant flowers to invite destructive insect larvae, and most bulb flowers do not usually harbor large quantities of eggs or larvae, thank goodness.And, of course, bulbs, corms, etc. do not make seeds.That does not mean that a colorful , neatly kept garden with some sheltering bushes will not attract birds, even if they don't dine there.