Nature on our doorsteps: Flowering trees and bushes in springtime

By Rosaleen Dwyer

Rosaleen Dwyer is the County Heritage Officer at South Dublin County Council – every week she gives us an insight into the natural heritage around us and the beautiful biodiversity of the plants and creatures

The lovely pink and white ornamental Cherry trees are just beginning to come into flower, bringing a wonderful splash of springtime colour to our parks and housing estates.

While we enjoy the colour and scent of these blossoms, the flowers are also very important for honeybees and bumblebees.

This Flowering Currant bush on KIllinarden Way is a magnet for honeybees 1

This Flowering Currant bush on KIllinarden Way is a magnet for honeybees

If you stand in the sunshine beneath a tree in full bloom, the gentle hum of the bees gathering pollen and nectar reflects how important these blossoms are to them at this time of the year.

Another less obvious shrub in bloom now is the Flowering Currant. 

This species was introduced here from North America in the 19th Century when it was planted in gardens as ornamental hedging. 

The deep pink flowers of the Flowering Currant hang in drooping bunches, with up to 30 little nectar-rich flowers in each bunch. 

Cherry Blossom attracts bees and bumblebees in springtime 1

Cherry Blossom attracts bees and bumblebees in springtime

While these flowers are gently scented, the leaves have a strong pungent smell when crushed, making them a little less popular with some gardeners.

Flowering Currant is loved by honeybees and bumblebees. Studies estimate that one flowering bush can provide as much nectar as 70,000 snowdrops! 

Making room to grow these ‘bee magnet’ bushes in gardens and parks therefore sounds like an easy thing to do to help our springtime pollinators.

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