What is swamp titi? Is summer titi bad for bees? Also known by names such as red titi, swamp cyrilla, or leatherwood, swamp titi (Cyrilla racemiflora) is a shrubby, moisture-loving plant that produces slender spikes of fragrant white flowers in summer.
Swamp titi is native to the warm, tropical climates of the southeastern United States, as well as parts of Mexico and South America. Although bees love swamp titi’s fragrant, nectar-rich blooms, bees and swamp titi aren’t always a good combination. In some areas, the nectar causes a condition known as purple brood, which is toxic to bees.
Read on for more summer titi information and learn about titi purple brood.
About Bees and Swamp Titi
Summer titi’s fragrant blooms are attractive to honeybees, but the plant is associated with purple brood, a condition that can be fatal to larvae that eat the nectar or honey. Purple brood can also affect adult bees and pupae.
The disorder is so named because the affected larvae turn blue or purple instead of white.
Fortunately, purple brood isn’t widespread, but it is considered a serious problem for beekeepers in certain areas, including South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. Although it isn’t as common, titi purple brood has been found in other areas, including southwest Texas.
Florida Cooperative Extension Office advises beekeepers to keep bees away from areas where large stands of swamp titi are in bloom, typically in May and June. Beekeepers can also provide bees with a sugar syrup, which will dilute the effect of the toxic nectar.
Generally, beekeepers in the region are familiar with purple brood, and they know when and where it is likely to occur.
If you aren’t sure if it’s safe to keep bees, or if you’re new to the area, contact a beekeeper’s group, or ask your local cooperative extension office for summer titi information. Experienced beekeepers are usually happy to offer advice.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.
Pantone’s Color Of The Year 2024 Is A Gardener’s Dream – Discover 7 Flowers That Are ‘Peach Fuzz’ Perfection
The global authority on color has spoken, and 'Peach Fuzz' is the shade we'll all be seeking out in the coming year. Find out why this gorgeous pinky orange deserves a place in your garden, and be inspired by our top flower picks
By Melanie Griffiths Published
15 Garden Trends To Avoid in 2024: Experts Warn Against These Outdated Designs
Garden trends come and go. We asked gardening experts to share the outdated trends that should be retired – and what you can do instead.
By Melanie Griffiths Last updated
Spring Vs. Summer Titi: Differences Between Spring And Summer Titi Plants
With names like spring and summer titi, you may think these two plants are alike. It is true that they share many similarities, but their differences are also notable, and in some cases, important to take note of. Click here to learn how to tell spring and summer titi apart.
By Mary H. Dyer Last updated