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Suggested Plants for Your Bee Pasture

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. For my permanent pollinator pasture, I’m planting two species of Crataegus, or hawthorn, native to South Carolina and easily grown once established.  Crataegus aestivalis has the common name mayhaw, the fruit of jelly fame. The other is Crataegus marshallii, parsley hawthorn with a dissected leaf. Both are open in habit and flower very early – providing nectar and pollen for the overwintering native pollinator females as they emerge. Mayhaw has thorns and I collect branches of them and impale gum drops on those thorns for the holidays. Parsley hawthorn is not armed and I often cut it for flower arrangements in spring. The fruits that follow the flowers are important for birds who then spread these easily grown plants into other areas. You can find these at native plant mail order outlets. They’ll be small so prepare to baby them for a few years. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.