ian Plants for Bees , ,

Hogweed : Heracleum sphondylium

Plant :  The white flowers of this stall, spindly plant can be seen along hedgerows, woodland and on verges, during the late summer.  It is visited by many types of insects and grows up to 200 cm in height.

Flower : The Hogweed flowers form an inflorescence at the end of each stem of a compound umbel.  The individual flowers are up to 20 mm across.  They have 5 sepal, petals and stamen.  They ovary is inferior.

Pollen : The pollen load of the hogweed is yellow.  The grain is distinctive.  It is 50 um long, with a round end cylindrical shape, as well as three pore and furrow type apertures.  The exine is of medium thickness and the surface is textured.

Rex Sawyer’s book, Pollen Identification for beekeepers is really helpful for understanding the features of pollen.  In Bob Maurer’s book, Practical Microscopy for Beekeepers, he shows some simple techniques for making up pollen slides.  Click here to return to plants for bees index.