Dahlias might not be the first plant you think of in a wildlife garden but they are hardy, long lasting and easy to grow and most important of all, the pollinators love them. It is important to pick the right variety though as some highly bred for show don’t produce a useful food supply. Open hearted types are most useful.
“For pollinators, the difference in dahlias has to do with the central disk. The central disk is where the pollen is produced and where the bees can access the nectar. Highly bred dahlias can have so many layers of florets that the pollinators cannot even find the central disk. Those varieties are of no interest to pollinators and are left alone in the garden.” HoneyBeeSuite
Of course Dahlias aren’t just good for bees. They were introduced to Europe in the 18th century as a potential substitute for potatoes but they didn’t catch on at the time.
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