California Bloom Dates

All beekeepers should know their bloom dates. Here’s a list found on NASA’s database on the forage, nectar and pollen, for the honey bees in Northern to Southern California. (Actually it came from Ayers and Harman, Chapter 11 (Bee Forage of North America and the Potential for Planting for Bees) of The Hive and the Honey Bee, 1992, Graham, J. ed. Dadant and Sons Inc. Hamilton, Illinois.)

Ordered by Begin Bloom Month

Family Latin Name Common Name Begin Bloom Month End Bloom Month Sig
Brassicaceae Brassica mustard 1 9 N
Ericaceae Arctostaphylos Manzanita, bearberry 1 5 Y
Betulaceae Alnus Mill. Alder 1 4 N
Salicaceae Salix Willow, osier 1 6 N
Rosaceae Prunus Plum (cultivated) 2 2 N
Brassicaceae Raphanus sativus Radish 2 6 N
Geraniaceae Erodium Filaree, heron’s bill, storkbill, pin-clover, alfileria, clocks 2 6 N
Papaveraceae Eschscholzia californica California poppy 2 9 N
Scrophulariaceae Scrophularia californica Figwort, California honey plant 2 7 N
Anacardiaceae Rhus Sumac, sugar bush, lemonade berry 2 5 N
Rosaceae Prunus dulcis Almond 2 3 N
Boraginaceae Amsinckia Amsinckia, leather breeches, fire weed, fiddle-neck, tarweed 3 6 N
Limanthaceae Limnanthes douglasii Meadow foam 3 5 N
Fabaceae Lotus Deer-vetch, wild alfalfa 3 9 N
Scrophulariaceae Orthocarpus erianthus Johnny-tuck, butter and eggs 3 5 N
Lamiaceae Salvia Sage, romona 3 7 Y
Rhamnaceae Ceanothus NewJersey tea, redroot, wild-lilac, buck-brush 3 6 N
Rhamnaceae Rhamnus Buckthorn 3 7 N
Rosaceae Rubus Blackberry 3 7 N
Fabaceae Cercis Redbud, judas tree 3 4 N
Rosaceae Prunus Cherry (cultivated) 3 3 N
Ericaceae Arbutus menziesii Arbutus, maddrona, madrone, madrono 3 5 N
Rutaceae Citrus Citrus 3 5 Y
Liliaceae Allium cepa Onion 4 5 N
Polygonaceae Eriogonum Wild buckwheat, umbrella plant 4 11 N
Liliaceae Odontostomum hartwegii Hartweg’s odonstoman 4 5 N
Fabaceae Vicia Vetch, tare 4 7 N
Rosaceae Adenostoma fasciculatum Chamise, greasewood 4 6 N
Rosaceae Amelanchier Service-berry, juneberry, shadbush 4 6 N
Rhamnaceae Rhamnus purshiana Sagrada, bearberry, cascara 4 6 N
Ericaceae Gaultheria shallon Salal, shallon 4 7 N
Styracaceae Styrax officinalis Snowdrop bush, styrax, storax 4 5 N
Anacardiaceae Toxicodendron Poison ivy, oak 4 5 N
Rosaceae Rubus Raspberry 4 7 N
Cucurbitaceae Citrullus lanatus watermelon 5 8 N
Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita L. Pumpkin, squash, gourd 5 8 N
Cucurbitaceae Cucumis melo Cantaloupe, muskmelon, casaba, 5 8 N
Fabaceae Medicago sativa Alfalfa, lucerne 5 9 Y
Asclepiadaceae Asclepias Milkweed, butterfly flower 5 8 N
Asteraceae Centaurea Star thistle, knapweed 5 10 Y
Hydrophyllaceae Eriodictyon angustifolium Yerba santa, mountain-balm 5 7 N
Asteraceae Layia platyglossa Tidy tips 5 6 N
Fabaceae Melilotus Sweet clover (white/yellow) 5 9 N
Hippocastanaceae Aesculus californica California buckeye, horse chestnut 5 6 N
Rosaceae Heteromeles arbutifolia Christmas berry 6 7 N
Asteraceae Helianthus Sunflower 6 10 N
Lamiaceae Mentha Mint 6 10 N
Rubiaceae Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbrush 6 8 N
Malvaceae Gossypium Cotton 7 9 N
Asteraceae Carthamus tinctorius Safflower, false saffron 7 8 N
Lamiaceae Trichostema Blue curls 7 10 N
Myrtaceae Eucalyptus Eucalypt, gum tree, ironbark, stringybark 12 7 N
Sig column
This column indicates whether or not the species is considered a very important nectar source species within the state and region selected. If it is a significant source, it is indicated here with a ‘Y’ and the row is highlighted. 

In this context, important is defined by Ayers and Harman as those species that “reliably produce a large percent of the harvested honey” within the selected region.

This entry was posted in Honey Bees, Los Altos, Misc, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Tips & Techniques and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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