Author Topic: Changes in flower cultivars  (Read 1346 times)

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Offline Les

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Changes in flower cultivars
« on: August 18, 2017, 09:42:16 pm »
This link is an interesting interview with a woman who has been researching the differences between the modern day flower cultivars versus the native plants.  It appears that the new cultivars do not provide the same amount of nectar as the natives.  I have noticed that a couple of my new coneflower cultivars have absolutely no pollinators visiting them.  I had already determined that something was off and was planning on replacing them.  Guess I assumed correctly.

 http://www.humanegardener.com/flower-power-a-qa-with-annie-white
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Changes in flower cultivars
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 09:24:26 am »
Your bees are a detriment to your neighbors flower gardens and planters. becoming pollinated the flower shrivels and the seed development begins. The nurseries solution, breading and selecting and propagation of plants that are less attractive to pollinators. This is done by selecting and breading plants that produce less pollen and nectar, or nectar with less sugar content so they are less attractive to pollinators than other plants. A lot of plants these days advertise long blooming times. Guess what, in order to achieve this the plant flowers need to kept from being pollinated. So when you read in a certain bee plant book that a plant is attractive to bees for pollen or nectar. The seeds or plant from the local nursery, in a lot of cases because of modification are a different plant. In a lot of cases not a useful plant as a food source for bees.
There are some nurseries that have lists of pollinator friendly plants that they carry that have not been modified to bloom longer. you need to trust sales person that they know what attract pollinators and which ones are designed for a long blooming
My niece got married on the 30th of June, in Kelowna at Guisachan Heritage Park They have beautiful flower gardens and have over 50 different types of flowers blooming. I only saw pollinators on about 8 of them and honey bees were only visiting 4.
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Offline efmesch

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Re: Changes in flower cultivars
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 02:29:04 pm »
Forget the flowers for the moment.  Congratulations on the marriage of your niece.  May she and her husband enjoy many years of marital bliss.

The important thing having been said, now may the flowers resume their blooming.
And thanks for the information.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Changes in flower cultivars
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2017, 05:43:03 pm »
It's true.  I have learned, the hard way, that the cultivars of our good heirloom and native varieties don't perform like the originals.  The cultivars are short lived and don't attract pollinators.  All the good stuff has been bred out.  Essentially, the buyer is paying for a double bloom or a yellow coneflower.  apis is right.  Plant breeders are just trying to corner the market on a novelty that will sell plants.   That's why many roses don't have a scent.  It has been bred out of them. 
apis also said something that has me thinking.  "So when you read in a certain bee plant book that a plant is attractive to bees for pollen or nectar. The seeds or plant from the local nursery, in a lot of cases because of modification are a different plant. In a lot of cases not a useful plant as a food source for bees."  Hmmmm. 
Have you ever compared notes with a fellow beekeeper that says his bees love a particular honey plant?  And you think, "I never see my bees work that plant."  I have heard and thought that a dozen times.  Perhaps plant breeding is the part of the problem or my bees might have something more desirable to work.  Something to think about.
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Offline Les

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Re: Changes in flower cultivars
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 01:21:47 pm »
It is sad, I think, that the breeders have taken the fragrance away from so many flowers in exchange for bloom time, bloom size, etc.  Growing up my Mom had a peony bed that to me seemed like an acre but in reality it was probably much smaller LOL.  One of our jobs was to sell the peonies.  We would walk people through the beds and they would pick out what stems they wanted cut.  We would wrap the bouquet in newspaper and I can remember their heavenly fragrance. To think we sold a dozen stems for 75 cents!!  I bought two plants when we moved into our home as an homage to her.  So disappointed....no fragrance at all!! 
Fortunately, we have a native plant nursery in our area and I have been quite successful with drawing in pollinators with their plants.