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Publication #ENY-171

Florida Honey Bee Plants1

Mary Christine Bammer, William H Kern, and Jamie D. Ellis 2

Several factors influence the flora throughout Florida, including annual freezes, average temperature, annual rainfall, and soil composition. Because of these variations, plants that grow well in one region may not grow well in another. Climate, plant communities, and timing of floral resources differ significantly between the three main regions in Florida: north Florida, central Florida, and south Florida (north Florida encompasses the panhandle region south through Alachua, Levy, Putnam, and Flagler counties. Central Florida includes Marion County south through Sarasota County. South Florida encompasses the remaining counties including the Keys) (Figure 1).

While many plants are acceptable pollen producers for honey bees, fewer yield enough nectar to produce a surplus honey crop. The tables in this document list the nectar-bearing plants that are present to some degree in each region and the plants' respective bloom times. Please note, any nectar plants that are considered invasive in Florida have been excluded from this list.

Figure 1. 

Figure 2. 

Honey bee on wild mustard.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

Honey bee on citrus.


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Figure 4. 

Honey bee on Indian blanket flower.


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Tables

Table 1. 

Honey Bee Plant Bloom Calendar for North Florida.

Month

Common Name

Scientific Name

January

Maple

Acer spp.

Sand pine

Pinus clausa

Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis

Willow

Salix spp.

February

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Cherry

Prunus spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Maple

Acer spp.

Oak

Quercus spp.

Plum

Prunus spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sparkleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

Spring titi, buckwheat tree

Cliftonia monophylla

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

Walter viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

Willow

Salix spp.

March

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Cherry

Prunus spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Oak

Quercus spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Plum

Prunus spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sparkleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

Spring titi, buckwheat tree

Cliftonia monophylla

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

Walter viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

Willow

Salix spp.

April

American holly

Ilex opaca

Black (swamp) tupelo, Blackgum

Nyssa sylvatica

Blackberry

Rubus spp.

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Dog Hobble

Leucothoe spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Ogeechee (white) tupelo

Nyssa ogeche

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sparkleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

Swamp gallberry

Ilex coriacea

Swamp titi

Cyrilla racemiflora

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

Tuliptree

Liriodendron tulipifera

Water locust

Gleditsia aquatica

Water tupelo

Nyssa aquatica

Yaupon holly

Ilex vomitoria

May

American holly

Ilex opaca

Black (swamp) tupelo, blackgum

Nyssa sylvatica

Blackberry

Rubus spp.

Blackhaw

Viburnum prunifolium

Blackhaw

Viburnum prunifolium

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Chinese privet

Ligustrum sinense

Dahoon holly

Ilex cassine

Dog hobble

Leucothoe spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Gopher apple

Licania michauxii

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Ogeechee (white) tupelo

Nyssa ogeche

Partridge pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Possum haw

Ilex decidua

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Saw palmetto

Serenoa repens

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sparkleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Swamp bay

Persea palustris

Swamp titi

Cyrilla racemiflora

Tuliptree

Liriodendron tulipifera

Water tupelo

Nyssa aquatica

Yaupon holly

Ilex vomitoria

June

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Chinese privet

Ligustrum sinense

Chinese tallow

Triadica sebifera

Dahoon holly

Ilex cassine

Dog hobble

Leucothoe spp.

Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Gopher apple

Licania michauxii

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Loblolly bay

Gordonia lasianthus

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Partridge pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Possum haw

Ilex decidua

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Red cabbage palm

Livistona mariae

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Swamp bay

Persea palustris

Swamp titi

Cyrilla racemiflora

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

July

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Cotton

Gossypium spp.

Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Gopher apple

Licania michauxii

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Loblolly bay

Gordonia lasianthus

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Partridge pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Saw palmetto

Serenoa repens

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Swamp titi

Cyrilla racemiflora

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

August

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Cotton

Gossypium spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Loblolly bay

Gordonia lasianthus

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Partridge pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Sumac

Rhus typhina

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

September

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Sumac

Rhus typhina

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

October

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis

November

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis

December

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Loquat

Eriobotrya japonica

Mist flower

Conoclinium coelestinum

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis

Table 2. 

Honey Bee Plant Bloom Calendar for Central Florida.

Month

Common Name

Scientific Name

January

Maple

Acer spp.

Sand pine

Pinus clausa

Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis

Willow

Salix spp.

February

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Cherry

Prunus spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Maple

Acer spp.

Oak

Quercus spp.

Plum

Prunus spp.

Sand pine

Pinus clausa

Swamp titi

Cyrilla racemiflora

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

Walter viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

Willow

Salix spp.

March

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Cherry

Prunus spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Oak

Quercus spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Plum

Prunus spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

Walter viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

Willow

Salix spp.

April

American beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

American holly

Ilex opaca

Black (swamp) tupelo, blackgum

Nyssa sylvatica

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.

Butter Mint, Buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Dog hobble

Leucothoe spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

Yaupon holly

Ilex vomitoria

May

American holly

Ilex opaca

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Dahoon holly

Ilex cassine

Dog hobble

Leucothoe spp.

Fetterbush

Lyonia lucida

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Gopher apple

Licania michauxii

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Ogeechee (white) tupelo

Nyssa ogeche

Palm

many species

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Yaupon holly

Ilex vomitoria

June

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Dahoon holly

Ilex cassine

Dog hobble

Leucothoe spp.

Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Gopher apple

Licania michauxii

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Loblolly bay

Gordonia lasianthus

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palm

many species

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Virginia creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Walter viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

July

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Butter mint, buttermint, bushmints

Hyptis spp.

Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Gopher apple

Licania michauxii

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Loblolly bay

Gordonia lasianthus

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palm

many species

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Partridge pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

August

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Joint weed

Polygonella spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Partridge pea

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Sandhill prairie clover

Dalea spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Sumac

Rhus typhina

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red bay

Persea borbonia

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spiderwort/dayflower

Tradescantia virginiana

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Sumac

Rhus typhina

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

November

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spotted mint

Monarda punctata

Vine aster

Ampelaster carolinianus

December

Bush aster

Aster spp.

Goldenrod

Solidago spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Wild radish/wild mustard

Raphanus raphanistrum

Table 3. 

Honey Bee Plant Bloom Calendar for South Florida.

Month

Common Name

Scientific Name

January

Maple

Acer spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis

Willow

Salix spp.

February

American beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

Blackberry

Rubus spp.

Coreopsis

Coreopsis spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Oak

Quercus spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sweet acacia

Vachellia farnesiana

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

March

American beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

Buttonwood

Conocarpus erectus

Lychee

Litchi chinensis

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Oak

Quercus spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Saw palmetto

Serenoa repens

Seagrape

Coccoloba uvifera

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sweet clover

Melilotus officinalis

April

American beautyberry

Callicarpa americana

Button sage

Lantana involucrata

Buttonwood

Conocarpus erectus

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Macadamia

Macadamia spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Pineland lantana

Lantana depressa

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Seagrape

Coccoloba uvifera

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

Wild coffee

Psychotria nervosa

Wild lime

Zanthoxylum fagara

May

Buttonwood

Conocarpus erectus

Dahoon holly

Ilex cassine

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Orange

Poncirus trifoliata, Citrus reticulata

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Seagrape

Coccoloba uvifera

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Wild coffee

Psychotria nervosa

June

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Cashew

Anacardium spp.

Dahoon holly

Ilex cassine

Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Fiddlewood

Citharexylum spinosum

Gallberry

Ilex glabra

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palm

many species

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Seagrape

Coccoloba uvifera

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Sweet acacia

Vachellia farnesiana

Virginia creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Walter viburnum

Viburnum obovatum

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

Wild coffee

Psychotria nervosa

July

Black mangrove

Avicennia germinans

Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palm

many species

Palmetto, cabbage palm

Sabal palmetto

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Red mangrove

Rhizophora mangle

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

White mangrove

Laguncularia racemosa

Yellow pencil pea, pencil flower

Stylosanthes biflora

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palm

many species

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Palm

many species

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Marlberry

Ardisia escallonioides

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Smart weed

Polygonum spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

White vine

Sarcostemma clausum

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Powderpuff tree

Calliandra haematocephala

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Shrubby false buttonweed

Spermacoce verticillata

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

December

Maple

Acer spp.

Mexican clover

Richardia spp.

Primrose willow

Ludwigia spp.

Spanish needle

Bidens spp.

Wild radish/wild mustard

Raphanus raphanistrum

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENY-171, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date September 2018. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Mary Christine Bammer, Extension coordinator, Department of Entomology and Nematology; William H Kern, associate professor of urban entomology, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research & Education Center; and Jamie D. Ellis, associate professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.