One of the most popular reasons for planting flowers is to entice pollinators into visiting the garden. Whether looking to attract bees to vegetable plots or simply looking to add life to outdoor spaces, the incorporation of flowering plants is sure to lure in several types of beneficial insects.
However, growers frequently do not consider which types of pollinator they would like to attract. Shapes of flowers can actually impact which species of insects visit the garden most often. Learning more about flower shapes and pollinator preferences can help growers make the most of newly established flower gardens.
Does Flower Shape Matter?
While it’s true that most pollinators will be attracted to a wide range of flower types and flower shapes, attracting pollinators with flower shapes better suited to them is possible. It is for this reason that some plants are more commonly visited than others. Flower shape can have a great impact in terms of how easily insects are able to collect nectar and pollen from the plant. Since many plants depend on pollination in order to make seeds, it is easy to understand the potential benefit of having flower shapes which are especially attractive to certain insects.
Flower Shapes and Pollinators
Among the most common blooms in the garden when selecting flower shapes for pollinators are those with open stamens. Stamens are the part of the flower which hold the pollen. These flowers are especially attractive to bees. As the bees visit the flowers collecting nectar and pollen, their bodies also become covered with pollen, which is then transferred from one flower to another.
Tubular shaped flowers are another common choice within pollinator gardens. Though hummingbirds and moths can feed on a wide range of flower shapes, tubular shaped flowers are more specifically suited. Cluster type flowers, or those with umbel blooms, are also quite attractive to a wide range of pollinators. These include smaller and more solitary species of bees, butterflies, as well as beneficial species of flies.