IDENTIFYING “POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY” CULTIVARS FOR GARDENS AND GREENROOFS

Open Access
Author:
Landry, Jennifer Leigh
Graduate Program:
Horticulture
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Robert Berghage Jr., Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • pollinator friendly
  • greenroof
Abstract:
Home gardens and greenroofs have the potential to provide foraging resources for native and managed pollinators. The importance of identifying plants that offer adequate forage for pollinators is becoming increasingly important as pollinator populations continue to decline. It has been demonstrated that high nectar secretion rates do not necessarily illicit more pollinator visits; the insect and flower morphology can limit or prevent access to floral rewards. The cultivated novelties of some cultivars occur at the expense of reproductive organs, rendering them useless to pollinators. The Master Gardeners of Pennsylvania have begun providing educational opportunities for consumers to learn about pollinator-friendly garden selections. In an effort to provide them with regionally accurate information, surveys of insect visits to primarily recently introduced garden annual cultivars were conducted at the Penn State Horticulture Trial Gardens located at the Landisville Research Center throughout the summer of 2008. The surveys resulted in a list of 18 pollinator friendly genera that accounted for 96% of all bee visits. In addition, insect surveys of commonly used greenroof plants were conducted to identify and make recommendations for pollinator-friendly greenroof plants. The resulting list consisted of 15 cultivars that accounted for 96% of all bee visits.