P is for Prunus

Prunus is the genus name of the cherry family. We squirrels are well aware of the many types of cherry trees you humans have created to beautify your spring. Well, keep doing it! But could you lean toward those simple flowers, not the complicated ones?

Have you ever noticed that the bees can’t find their way to the center with the nectar and pollen? It’s the same with some of your more complicated flowers–just go back to the simple ones if you are planting for pollinators.

We will leave it to you to look at the various kinds. Wild cherries might even have self-seeded in your yard after a bird ate the fruit. All bloom better in full sun. They have widely varying blooming times, and some even bloom in the fall.

Members of the Prunus genus rely on bees to pollinate their flowers. The more flowers visited, the more cherries a tree will have.


Purchase plants and seeds from a known source that does not use pesticides / insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids. They are not safe for honeybees and native bees. Watch this bee researcher’s Ted Talk to learn more about bees, why they are dying and how you can help:

Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing

3 thoughts on “P is for Prunus

  1. Would it be accurate to say that when humans breed plants with elaborate blossoms that we are actually selecting for mutations that would not pass the survival of the fittest test in a true wilderness?

    • Hmm, we aren’t research scientists, but naturally evolved flowers did co-evolve with their pollination systems, including specific insect shapes and body parts (like long enough tongues and orchids that mimic the look of a bee to attract another bee). Developed blossoms don’t have that evolution behind them, or so we wouldn’t think. But we aren’t experts in this area! Thanks for leaping by with a thought provoking question!

  2. Interesting! I never thought about how the shape of a flower would influence its survival. Love cherry blossoms 🙂

    Ronel visiting with the A-Z Challenge music and writing: More, Please

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