Wild mignonette and weld – magnets for pollinators

For years I have been growing wild mignonette, Reseda lutea, in my garden. It is sometimes  biennial but in my garden mostly perennial. Its close relative Weld, Reseda luteola, is a biennial plant. In order to keep some in the garden, you have to keep some open space so that they can self seed.

They were once used as a dye, especially weld. The plant contains luteolin and was used to paint wool but one needed a load of this plant so when artificial colours became available, the plant was no longer used that much. 

 

They both produce pollen and nectar. They are very popular with all sorts of insects as the flowers are not deep so the nectar can be reached also by those bees that have shorter tongues.

They prefer sunny and dry conditions.

In my garden, lots of solitary bees visit this plant, especially those that are part of the Hylaeus family. In this case, it is most likely Hylaeus communis or hyalinatus. Often with bees, it is impossible to ID the species without assessing it under a microscope. Hylaeus bees are also referred to as yellow-faced bees and from the picture you can see why. They are small and the males have more yellow / white on their face compared to the females.

Beekeepers love both Reseda species as they are excellent for honey bees, and have been giving the highest category 5/5 when it comes to value for honeybees.

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About mybiodiversitygarden

Trying to raise awareness & share information about ecology and biodiversity and what gardeners can do to attract more wildlife
This entry was posted in beekeeping, Bees, Biology, Ecology, Gardening, Gardening for wildlife, Nature, wild flowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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