blog

Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

Plants for bees: stachys family

The stachys family is one of the largest genera of herbaceous perennials, with over 400 species, so there is no way I can claim they are all good for bees but, of the 3 we grow, they area all 'big hitters':

stachys officianalis (betony)  

stachys officianalis (betony)  

Stachys officianalis (betony) - a native wildflower which is also a very tidy and easy garden plant once established. It slowly expands to clumps of about 30cm accross and in June sends up deep pink flowers. Attracts a wide range of bumblebees and solitary bees

 

 

 

Stachys byzantina (lambs ears)

Stachys byzantina (lambs ears)

Stachys byzantina (lambs ears) looks completely different with fluffly grey leaves that quickly produce a dense carpet (very good weed suppressant) in the driest of soils and then produces tall silky grey spires in July. Attracts larger bumblebee species but also the wool carder bee (see special blog on thier behaviour)

Stachys sylvaticum (hedge woundwort)

Stachys sylvaticum (hedge woundwort)

Stachys sylvaticum (hedge woundwort) - supposedly likes damp semi-shade but copes very well in our heavy clay in full sun. This is a vigorous native and sends out profuse runners once established so put is somewhere where that wont matter or dilligently cut them off. Attracts lots of carder bumblebees and some honey bees

by rosi