Birds & butterflies

The Prunus campanulata are out – and although they have a tendancy to become weedy (and when they’re coming out it’s easy to see that) in this area who could begrudge them one bad habit when they’re such a tui magnet?


Pictured at McLaren Falls Park – they were about 10 tui feeding in a couple of trees. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Late winter/early spring sources of nectar aren’t just attractive to birds – butterflies and bees are starting to move again and are keen to feed as well.

Some good plants for this are:

  • Aloes
  • Grevilleas
  • Camellias
  • Bottlebrush
  • Banksias
  • Ericas
  • Manuka
  • Lavender dentata (mine flowers almost year-round).

A bee (left) heads for the flowers of an Alnus jorullensis (Mexican alder). Photo: Sandra Simpson

I was in a garden near Katikati in the middle of winter, wandering about on my own, and I could hear the bees busy in three or four of the same trees – Alnus jorullensis (evergreen alder). The flowers didn’t look much, but the bees were thoroughly enjoying them.

Federated Farmers has developed a Trees for Bees programme and produced regional planting lists. Find those here.

The Bay of Plenty branch of the Tree Crops Association has prepared a similar list but organised it in to garden flowersherbs, shrubs and trees and included information on when they are in flower.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s