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10 best wildflowers to grow for insects
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.

 

1. Birdsfoot Trefoil

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.

2. White Campion

White flowers are especially good for attracting night-flying insects at dusk, such as the Elephant Hawkmoth.

3. Cornflower

Honeybees, wild bees, butterflies and hoverflies love to visit these brilliant blue blooms. Scatter them through a border.

4. Poppy

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.

5. Vipers Bugloss

A favourite of bees, making this flower known as a bee-magnet! It is visited by all sorts, from the large Buff-tailed bumblebee to the smaller Common Carder bee and honeybees.

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. 

8. Red Campion

Butterflies and bees love this wildflower, which once grew naturally at woodland edges. Did you know the Campion moth caterpillar spends its winter living inside the seed capsule?!

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.

10. Toadflax

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. 

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