What are the best white flowers for bees and butterflies??

Hi all,

An open question, as per the heading.  Which white-flowered annuals or perennials do people think are the best for bees and other pollinating insects??

To qualify they need to flower steadily over a good long period and be genuinely attractive to bees or other pollinators. To get things going I'll suggest a few of my current favourites:

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity'

Scabiosa caucasica 'alba'

Scabiosa drakensbergensis

Which are other peoples favourites??

Look forward to seeing your suggestions.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,612

    Our white Hesperis Matronalis is frequently visited by bees and other pollinators. 

    Also the white campion Silene Alba image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Magical MeerkatMagical Meerkat Posts: 241

    I am growing winter savory this year, which is meant to be good for bees, but it's not flowering yet, but very excited. Saw it on a tv program and it was covered in bees.


  • Thanks Doves and Magical Meercat,

    I've got all those and agree with your recommendations.

    I also neglected to mention Centranthus ruber album (the white form of Red Valerian) in my first post. It flowers all summer long and is a magnet to bees, particularly the long-tongued species.  Last Thursday (29 May) I was lucky enough to watch a Humming-Bird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) feeding on Centranthus ruber in my back garden.  Top moth.  Superb!!

    Keep those suggestions / recommendations coming.

  • raspberry  lots of flowers loads of pollinators and a bumper crop. I've just reported one of the rare bees that has set up under my shed and I'm convinced that they set up hive for my raspberry and blackberry's. They don't bother me but there pollinating my garden and my hole garden is full of them every day hope that they stay as there fascinating to watch.but at first it was daunting doing my weeding near the hive and raspberry but they don't bother me at all all there interested in is my pollen and maybe a drink from my water barrel. and last week I recorded a kestrel thats took fancy to my apple tree as a feeding post. I dont know where its nesting but I saw it last year too

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,713

    Lots of Tiarellas/Heucheras/Heucherellas have almost white flowers. I've had a tiarella flowering for almost two months - just going over now and the brighter yellowy/acid green Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade' and 'Alabama Sunrise' are about to flower. Bees love them.

    The Acteas are great too as Verdun said. My new ones are growing well so hope to see flowers forming soon, and I also have white Buddleia.

  • Outdoor girlOutdoor girl Posts: 286

    I grow nicotiana sylvestris which is a magnet for bumbles & moths.

  • Keyser SozeKeyser Soze Posts: 124

    I also wish to attract more bees and butterflies, in particular the hummingbird moth!

    I planted one miniature buddleia last year and there was a significant increase in butterflies.

    I managed to pick up a half price hibiscus syriacus called "White Chiffon". These are supposed to attract bees and butterflies and the flowering period is August to October.

    I have read that the more exotic types attract hummingbirds so they seem like the right sort of thing.


  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 524

    My white salvia is attracting a lot of bees at the moment.

  • I was going to say a white buddleia, but Verdun beat me to it! I've seen a few of those near where I live and they look pretty majestic and always seem to have a butterfly or two hovering around them. 

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