It seems to be a good year for Ceanothus (Californian lilac). Shrubs in gardens are so laden with brilliant blue flowers that you often barely see the leaves. Ceanothus seems to be very attractive to pollinators; especially bees like the flowers and we often see quite a number of different species busily collecting pollen and nectar, even on less sunny days.
Ceanothus needs a sheltered sunny spot in well-drained soil, away from cold winds. It will flower in spring and the flowers attract an array of pollinators. Bumblebees, solitary bees and honeybees will be the most frequent visitors but you can also spot the occasional hoverfly.
So why not plant a Ceanothus this year if you have a suitable spot in your garden and want to attract pollinators?
Here are some of the pollinators we have found visiting Ceanothus flowers:
|Bombus pratorum (Early bumblebee)|
|Ashy mining bee (Andrena cineraria)|
|Another mining bee (Andrena sp.)|
|A bee-mimic hoverfly|
|Bombus hypnorum (Tree bumblebee)|