Most insects have a special relationship with a wildflower, usually for food. Butterflies and moths use them as nursery plants for their young, other insects use them to hide out in wait for prey. Bees and pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. With the UK’s natural wildflower habitats now depleted by a staggering 98%, growing any wildflowers in our gardens, window boxes or spaces can be really beneficial for wildlife and biodiversity.
This pretty yellow perennial supports over 130 different insect species. Caterpillars of the Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, the rare Wood White butterfly and Burnet moth all feed on Birdsfoot Trefoil. It is also a favourite source of nectar for the Common Carder bumblebee.
The open-faced blooms, and large pollen-laden stamens of wild poppy, attract all sorts of bees, looking for pollen, to take back to their babies. Look out for buzzy bumbles practicing buzz-pollination.
7. Oxeye daisy
The yellow centre of a daisy is made from hundreds of tiny flowers, which many insects love. Hoverflies, bees, and flower beetles will stop by for a pollen-rich top up, or a sip of sweet nectar.
9. Wild Carrot
The flat lacy umbels of this biennial wildflower are often visited by flower beetles, and hoverflies as well as bees looking for pollen. Insects like ladybirds can shelter inside the seedheads over winter.
The wild version of snapdragon; the weight of a bumblebee sitting on the lower-lip, opens the flower to reveal the nectar. Caterpillars of the Toadflax Brocade moth use the plant as food too.