Photo collection of Bee Plant flowers

Zachary Huang

I. Here are links to my posts about various flowers (approximately by their flowing time). I will slowly populate this page with bee plants (nectar or pollen) as time goes by.


  1. Spring flower 1: Winter-aconite, Eranthis
  2. Spring flower 2: Crocus
  3. Spring flower 3: Scilla
  4. Spring flower 4: Christmas rose
  5. Spring flower 5: Anemone
  6. Spring flower 6: Eastern skunk cabbage
  7. Spring flower 7: Grape hyacinth
  8. Spring flower 8: Canola
  9. Spring flower 9: Hyacinth
  10. Spring flower 10: Maple flowers
  11. Spring flower 11: Magnolia
  12. Spring flower 12: Pussy willow
  13. Spring flower 13: Apricot
  14. Spring flower 14: Plum
  15. Spring flower 15: Cherry
  16. Spring flower 16: Flowering cherry
  17. Spring flower 17: Nanking cherry
  18. Spring flower 18: Almond
  19. Spring flower 19: Peach
  20. Spring flower 20: Honeysuckle
  21. Spring flower 21: Tulip
  22. Spring flower 22: Redbud
  23. Spring flower 23: Lilac
  24. Spring flower 24: Peonies
  25. Spring flower 25: Autumn olive
  26. Spring flower 26: Smokey bush
  27. Spring flower 27: Desert false indigo
  28. Spring flower 28: Catalpa
  29. Spring flower 29: Tulip poplar
  30. Spring flower 30: Poison ivy
  31. Spring flower 31: Iris
  32. Spring flower 32: Kentucky yellow wood and Kentucky coffee tree
  33. Spring flower 33: Black locust
  34. Spring flower 34: American holly


  1. Summer flower 1: Cattails
  2. Summer flower 2: Everlasting peas
  3. Summer flower 3: Basswood
  4. Summer flower 4: Staghorn sumac
  5. Summer flower 5: Birds-foot-treefoil
  6. Summer flower 6: Crown vetch
  7. Summer flower 7: White clover
  8. Summer flower 8: Sweet clovers
  9. Summer flower 9: Canada thistle
  10. Summer flower 10: Star thistle
  11. Summer flower 11: Red clover
  12. Summer flower 12: Alfalfa
  13. Goji berry
  14. Corn (photos only)
  15. Lotus
  16. Beebee tree
  17. Chinese sumac


  1. Goldenrod (and a tagged bee!)
  2. Misty flower (Eupatorium coelestinum), and a tagged bee foraging!
  3. Ragweed (photos only)


  1. Winter flower 1: Loquat
  2. Winter flower 2: Wintersweet
  3. Winter flower 3: Chinese plum (Meihua)
  4. Winter flower 4: Eurya (Yeguihua)
  5. Winter flower 5: Ivy tree (yajiaomu)
  6. Winter flower 6: Tea flowers
  7. Winter flower 7: Tea oil camellia
  8. Winter flower 8: Fatsi

III. Flowers under ultraviolet light as a “formal publication” for references on

  1. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Disocactus ackermannii (Haw.) Barthlott (Cactaceae) Orchid Cactus. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  2. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Hoya carnosa Thunb (Apocynaceae) Wax Plant. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  3. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Lonicera japonica Thunb (Caprifoliaceae) Japanese Honeysuckle. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  4. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Penstemon digitalis Nutt. ex Sims (Plantaginaceae) Foxglove Beardtongue. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  5. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Luffa aegyptiaca Mill. (Cucurbitaceae) Luffa. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  6. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Helianthus maximiliani Schrad. (Asteraceae) Maximilian Sunflower. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  7. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Cucurbita pepo L. (Cucurbitataceae) Pumpkin. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  8. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Helianthus tuberosus L.(Asteraceae) Jerusalem Artichoke. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  9. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitaceae) Cucumber. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  10. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Solanum tuberosum L. (Solanaceae) Potato. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.

II. This is this year’s (2016) flower report,  updated at 1-2 week intervals. [2015 was here flowering status]. A list of common honey plants in Michigan are here.

July 9, buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis, Rubiaceae) just started blooming. There is a large patch near Cornell and Hatch in Okemos (it likes swamp or wetlands). Being an excellent honey plant, both honey bees and bumble bees are feasting on the beautiful flowers. I expect the bloom to last 2-3 weeks.

July 5, the golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata, Sapindaceae) is blooming at MSU campus. There are 4-5 in front of Natural Science, but my photos were taken near Bogue and Shaw intersection.  Silver leafed bassword (Tillia tomentosa, Tilliaceae) are blooming on the same day. There are 6 trees in the MSU Horticulture Demonstration Garden.

July 3, I finally got some nice photos of honey bees foraging on the leaves of catalpa!

June 22, common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadaceae) starts to bloom. This is the host plant for the iconic monarch bufferflies but honey bees will forage on them also. Smells nice!

June 18, Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina, Anacardiaceae) started blooming and many honey bees foraging on them. I think the flowers I saw were all females, the species is diecious (male and female flowers on different trees). It seems to provide both nectar and pollen. Poison ivy was also blooming and I waited for 5-10 min each time I go there and saw honey bees, which is good news! I certainly do not want to come into contact with its pollen!

June 16, basswood (Tillia americana, Tilliaceae) is blooming! I noticed that different trees will bloom at very different times. This year we have harvested about 700 lbs of honey so far and they tasted like basswood (extracted July 7th-ish).

June 10th, I saw a tall catalpa tree has flowers already. Not sure how long it has been blooming. Some say it is an important honey plant. Leaves also have extra-floral nectaries but I have to yet find honey bees foraging on them.

June 9th, privet has been blooming for a while, saw many bees on it. Japanese lilac (very late blooming compared to regular lilac) should be blooming now (i took some photos on June 5th, they were just starting) — bees love it too. They smell wonderful.

May 27, black locusts starting to bloom. One of the major honey plants in Michigan and produces very light honey.

May 26, I heard wisteria were blooming at the MSU Hort garden. I have seen honey bees foraging on this flower, but perhaps not important as a honey plant.

May 24, Autumn olive is about 1-2 days before full bloom, i did not see bees on it (perhaps too early for flowers). Bees love it. It produces a lot of dark honey but the plant itself is invasive.  Seeds spread by birds eating the fruits. Fruits are edible and high in antioxidants.

May 16, Lily of the valley is blooming in my back yard. I have not seen bees foraging on this plant (yet). A species of columbine also started blooming, I saw many bees foraging on this flower 2 years back at NC, but did not bring my big camera. My UV camera had a manual focusing lens and it was impossible to catch them foraging on this type flowers (less than 5 seconds per flower). Tulips are almost done.

May 11.  Red buds are in full bloom, i saw many bees foraging on an Asian species, but have seen ONLY bumble bees here. Dogwood, viburnum are also in bloom — I have yet to see honey bees on the large, white-flowered dogwood. . Apples in full bloom (they are a bit behind crab-apples?).  Dandelions have been for a long time.

May 7. Jacob’s ladder blooming in my backyard. Honey bees forage on this flower (again I need to dig out my old photos!). Red bleeding hearts also started. I have seen bees foraging on the white variety in China. My Asian pears have been blooming for a while. Lunaria (money plant, silver dollar) also blooming in my back yard. Have not see bees on it. Forgetting me not also blooming. Have a photo of one bee foraging on it, in Australia. flowers seems to be larger there. Perhaps a different species.

May 6. Red bud and dogwood are blooming.

April 26. Quince blooming and Oregon grape, seen bees foraging on both. but a bit too cold this year.

April 24. Dandelion flowers everywhere!

April 18. Japanese cherry flowers are blooming in the campus.

April 17. Red maple is blooming, I saw some bees (a few looked like honey bees!).   Crocuses are basically done. Pussy willows are in peak bloom, lots of honeybees and native bees.

April 15, Beal botanical gardens: Schilla, a type of aster are blooming.

March 27, Schilla (Siberian Squill), flowers with dark blue pollen was blooming, with bees foraging on them. Lantern rose was blooming also.

March 12, Winter aconite, Adonis, Birch, Christmas rose, skunk cabbage were blooming,  my 2014’s photos of bees visiting them are