What’s flowering now: late February

This week the UK has been enjoying warm air from Africa and the Canary Islands coming our way – I even felt toasty enough today to happily sit outside eating lunch and walk around without a coat on. A record winter temperature of 21.2°C was recorded in Kew Gardens (west London). So our flowers are out early too – but are there enough to feed all the bumblebees which have come out of hibernation?

Here’s a few of the flowers out in Cornwall now.

Yellow flowers –

Good old dandelions and daffodils

Purple flowers –

The little light purple star flower below grows everywhere in my garden. Anyone know what it’s called?

Pinky purple flowers –

At the weekend Drew and I have been doing a little work in the garden, with some great help with weeding/toddler distracting from Drew’s family. Drew and his niece Bella planted the purple scabious, which is meant to be a bee-friendly plant. I’m not sure what the pink blossom on the right is, a fruit tree?

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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19 Responses to What’s flowering now: late February

  1. I would guess wild plum for the tree. I love that flower but I’m stumped as to what it is.

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  2. Lucy Garden says:

    Oh, and I meant to add that the pink blossom looks like a purple-leafed plum, prunus cerasifera nigra. It’s a cherry plum, and should have some dark purple and rather watery-tasting fruit.

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  3. I think the purple one is balloon flower.

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  4. In Totnes itself the bumblebees are feeding from mahonia, comfrey (plenty about), heather (also plenty), by the coast rosemary is very popular along with bergenia.

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  5. Erik says:

    Nice that you have flowers up and ready for the bees. In Virginia, USA we are still waiting for most blooms. I’ve seen cone speedwell in our yard and I think some early Maples may be thinking about blooming. Next week we have another polar vortex coming are way, so the bees will be huddled inside.

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  6. Your grape hyacinth are ahead of mine, I have just seen my first one. I have a lot of daffodils of all shades in the garden but I rarely see bees in them. What is it like in your garden? Amelia

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    • Emily Scott says:

      Amazed that we have any flowers ahead of yours!

      Beekeepers often comment that they don’t see their bees on daffodils.They contain toxic chemicals (known as alkaloids) that include lycorine. The wild daffodil is pollinated mainly by bumblebees — Bombus terrestris, B. muscorum, B. hortorum, B. lapidarius — and Anthophora plumipes (hairy footed flower bee). However honey bees are rarely seen on daffodils – one theory is that this is because they store food for longer than bumbles. Possibly by not collecting daffodil pollen (or nectar) they avoid the build up of lycorine in the hive.

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  7. Walrus says:

    I just saw lots of red or henbit dead-nettles in flower near my bees.

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  8. theresagreen says:

    What a lovely collection of blossoms! I would also say that the tree is a Cherry Plum and that the pretty blue flowers are campanula, which as you say are usually out a bit later on.

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  9. Pingback: What’s flowering now: late February | How To Start Bee Farming

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