Thursday, 22 May 2014

Great for pollinators: Bright and cheerful Poached egg plant (Limnanthes douglasii)

Want to quickly cover some gound with an easy to grow plant which has pretty flowers and is also good for pollinators? Why not try Poached egg plant (Limnanthes douglasii)? There is still time to sow the seeds now.

Sow the relatively large seeds directly outside into moist but well-drained soil which does not dry out too much in summer, in a sunny or half shady position. The plants grow quickly and will flower in July or August if sown now. Once sown Poached egg plants will self-seed freely and will flower in May next year. The seedling are easy to pull up if they are growing in the wrong place.

Many different pollinators such as beetles, bumblebees, solitary bees and flies (including hoverflies) will visit the flowers to collect pollen and nectar. 

This is a great plant for an allotment or vegetable garden or the front of a border.

A little solitary bee drinking nectar
Poached egg plants growing together with Forget-me-nots
A pretty green-bottle fly
Flies seem to like the Poached-egg plant flowers
This little solitary bee has collected some pollen
A wolf spider rendezvous
A little beetle (probably from the Bruchidae family)
Poached egg plant is a pretty ground-cover plant
A mason bee female drinking nectar
A pretty solitary bee
Another Bruchidae beetle eating Pollen
A flesh fly (Sarcophagidae)
Early bumblebee worker cleaning herself in the flower


  1. Fantastic plant which for some reason or other I have seem to have ignored. Don't think I've seen it around in the garden centres, but I did know of its existence! Is this best grown from seed?

    1. You have to sow from seed as I have never seen it offered as a ready-grown plant in garden centres. But seeds should be available in every good garden centre and as the seeds are quite big they are easy to sow. Germination is quick and all you have to do is watering the seedlings in dry spells.