Plant List With the Insects They Attract

Trees & Shrubs

Bird Cherry Prunus padus            

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, hoverflies, beetles, bugs, moths, birds, mammals

Crab Apple Malus sylvestris

As above + butterflies and lichen (used in bird nests)

Holly Ilex aquifolium

Holly blue butterfly (food plant), birds nest site, food

Spindle Euonymus europaeus                 

Birds, small invertebrates

Hazel  Corylus avellana                              

Lichen, mammals

Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna                          

Lichen, honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, hoverflies, beetles, bugs, moths, birds and small mammals

Flowering Currant Ribes Sanguineum  

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, hoverflies, 

Cotoneaster Cotoneaster              

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, moths, birds, small mammals

Firethorn Pyracantha                                 

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, moths, birds, small mammals

Pussy willow Salix caprea          

Queen bumblebees and early solitary mining bees

Viburnum Viburnum                                   

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, moths, birds, small mammals

Buddleia Buddleia                          

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, butterflies, moths, birds (food)

Hebe Hebe                                       

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, moths (bat food)

Winter Honeysuckle  Lonicera fragrantissima        

Winter food

Dark Shady Corners and Shady Beds

Oregon grape Mahonia                             

Winter food – Bombus terrestris, winter active queens, early bees, flies and bugs

Lenten Rose Hellebore                              

Winter food – Bombus terrestris winter active queens, early bees, flies and bugs

Italian Lords and Ladies Arum maculatum       

Flies, gnats, etc. (bird/invertebrate food), mammals

Siberian bugloss Brunnera          

Early small bees, ground cover (woodlice, centipedes etc.)

Bugle Ajuga reptans                                               

Small bees

Elephant Ear’s Bergenia               

Early bee food + ground cover for reptiles/amphibians

Stinking Iris Iris foetidissima                                

Bombus pascuorum, leaf miners, small mammals

Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata   

Orange-tip & Green-veined white butterflies (food plant)

Red Campion Silene dioica            


Comfrey Symphytum officinale

All bees, inc. hairy-footed, ground cover (woodlice etc.) Comfrey        

Long “Hay Meadow” Grass

Wild Carrot Daucus carota                       

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs and sawflies

Birds-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus                   

Bombus lapidarius + other bees

Clover Trifolium repens

Meadow cranesbill Geranium pratense    

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, nitrogen fixing                                

Short Mown Grass

Primroses/Cowslips Primula       

Beeflies, Hoverflies and small invertebrates


Beeflies and small bees, leaf galls

Crocus Crocus                                

Winter/early spring food

Herb Beds and Dry Sunny Beds

Lavender Lavandula, especially Lavanula x intermedia “Grosso”                              

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, butterflies

Marjoram Origanum vulgare         

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs, butterflies, moths esp. purple & gold, particularly valuable for early nectar for emerging queen bumblebees and the hairy footed flower bee

Fennel Foeniculum vulgare                                   

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, social/solitary wasps, beetles, bugs and sawflies & Ichneumons

Lamb’s Ears Stachys byzantina              

Honey/bumble/solitary bees

Thyme Thymus polytrychus subsp. Britannicus      

Hoverflies and honeybees

Fences and Walls

Honeysuckle Lonicera                   

Bumblebees esp. B. hortorum, moths (bat food), birds

Ivy Hedera                                        

Just about everything, inc. Ivy bee, bat roost, etc. etc.

Clematis Clematis armandii –particularly winter flowering varieties                           

Winter food

Mixed Herbaceous Borders

Cat Mint Nepeta                              

Honey/bumble/solitary bees Nepeta racemoseNepeta faasenii – Long tongued bees

Columbine Aquilegia                                  

Honey/bumble/solitary bees

Perennial Cornflower Centaurea Montana       

Honey/bumble/solitary bees/hoverflies

Giant Yellow Scabious Cephalaria gigantea

Honey/bumble/solitary bees

Spiked Speedwell Veronica spicata                   

Honey/bumble/solitary bees

Hardy Geraniums Geranium                    

Honey/bumble/solitary bees/hoverflies

Sedum Hylotelephium spectabile               

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, wasps, hoverflies, butterflies

Red Scabious or pin cushion Scabiosa                       

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, wasps, hoverflies,

Globe Flower Trollius europaeus             

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, wasps, hoverflies,

Tall Verbena Verbena bonariensis                       

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, wasps, hoverflies,

Beard tongue Penstemon                         

Honey/bumble/solitary bees

Giant Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Blackadder   

Honey/bumble/solitary bees

Bellflowers Campanula                             

Honey/bumble/solitary bees esp. campanula bee, hoverflies

Aster Aster                                       

Late season invertebrate food

Sneezeweeds Helenium                            

Late season invertebrate food

Allium Allium                                    

All bees

Spotted Dead-nettle Lamium maculatum

All bees

Dahlia Bishop of LANDAFF and other single simple flowered varieties  


Lungwort Pulmonaria Blue Ensign or Trevi Fountain

Early bees, incl. hairy-footed bee

Foxglove Digitalis                           


Phlomis Phlomis                             

Bees, ground cover, winter protection

Early-flowering Borage Borage  

Early emerging queen bees, ground cover for woodlice, centipedes, molluscs etc.

Honeywort Cerinthe                       

Honey/bumble/solitary bees, birds esp. greenfinch 

Red Valerian            Centranthus ruber                

Hummingbird hawkmoth, bees, butterflies

Teasel Dipsacus                                          

Honey/bumblebees, solitary wasps, birds esp. goldfinch

Wild celery Angelica                                  

Bees, solitary wasps, hover flies and beetles

Love in the Mist Nigella                

Bumble and other bees

Forget-me-not Myosotis                

Small bees and hoverflies

Bush Vetch Vicia sepium               

Carder bees

Plume thistle – Circium rivulare Atropurpureum, 

Male bumblebees

Vipers bugloss  Echium vulgare        

All types of bees

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