Terms of flowering honey plants in the USA and Canada

According to observations of naturalists and beekeepers.

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Scientific name:

Malus domestica

Common name(s):

Pyrus pumila, Malus pumila, Apple.

Life form:

Tree.

Flowering time:

9 days.

Flowering period

in Colorado for this plant is: Late AprilMay.

NECTAR PRODUCTION:
20 - 40 kilograms per ha

SOURCE FOR HONEY BEES:
Minor


General distribution:

M. domestica is cultivated throughout temperate areas of the world, including North America (Mexico, U.S., and Canada). In the U.S., apples are grown in every continental state and commercial production occurs in 35 states, with top producers including Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Virginia.

In Canada, M. domestica is cultivated in all provinces but not the northern territories, with major production in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. It is also reportedly naturalized in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

Map of distribution and habitat in USA

This plant is present in at least 55 states/provinces in this country.

See The Map

Botanical description:

Malus domestica is a small- to a medium-sized, much-branched, deciduous tree with a single trunk and a broadly spreading canopy. Wild trees can reach 10-15 m in height, while cultivated trees are generally 2-5 m tall (in cultivation, tree size and shape are heavily dependant on rootstock and training system).

Roots consist of a horizontal layer of permanent, thickened, spreading scaffold roots less than 50 cm from the surface, and numerous vertical 'sinkers' descending to an impermeable layer or water table. Young stems and twigs are somewhat tomentose (hairy), while older branches are glabrous (smooth). Buds are purplish brown, ovoid and densely hairy.

Leaves are alternate, elliptic-ovate, rounded at the base, 4-13 cm long x 3-7 cm wide, with irregularly saw-toothed margins, and usually hairy beneath.

Flowers are usually terminal on spurs (although they may grow laterally from one-year-old wood in some cultivars), borne in groups of 4-6, in inflorescences that have variously been described as corymbs, corymbose racemes, cymes, and false cymes. Flowers are typically 3-4 cm in diameter, with 5 petals varying from white to deep pink, 5 sepals, about 20 stamens in 3 whorls (10 + 5 + 5) with yellow anthers, and a pistil comprised of five styles united at the base.

The pedicel and calyx are usually woolly, and the calyx is persistent in the fruit.

The fruit is an ellipsoid to obovoid globe-like pome indented at the base and usually also at the apex; usually more than 5 cm in diameter and weighing 200-350 grams. It may vary in color, from uniformly red, green, or yellow, or bi-colored, such as striped or blushed red on a yellow or green background.

Seasonal development:

M. domestica generally does better in more northern than southern climates because it usually requires the prolonged cold period provided by winter for flowering to occur in the spring.

Blooming period: Malus domestica generally blooms in the early spring after the other deciduous tree fruits have bloomed.

M. domestica is generally considered to be a better nectar producer than most other deciduous tree fruits, the species has several things working against it as a major honey producer. These include its short blooming period, which can be as little as only a few days, and the frequently inclement weather during its blooming period. While at times, perhaps one out of five seasons, apple produces a surplus, most beekeepers agree that the main benefit of the species to the beekeeping industry, excluding commercial pollination, of course, is in its spring stimulation of brood rearing.


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List of honey plants that may be blooming now in Colorado
See the entire list

Ulmus americana (aka: American elm, White elm, Water elm, Soft elm, Florida elm)

Salix gooddingii (aka: Goodding's willow, Dudley willow, Valley willow, Western black willow)

Prunus armeniaca (aka: Armenian plum, Ansu apricot, Siberian apricot, Tibetan apricot, Apricot tree)

Salix nigra (aka: Black willow, Swamp willow, Southwestern black willow, Gulf black willow, Scythe-leaved willow)

Celtis laevigata (aka: Hackberry, Sugarberry, Lowland hackberry, Sugar hackberry, Arizona sugarberry, Netleaf hackberry, Small's hackberry, Southern hackberry, Texas sugarberry)

Acer negundo (aka: Boxelder, Western boxelder, Arizona boxelder, California boxelder, Texas boxelder, Interior boxelder, Violet boxelder)

Acer glabrum (aka: Rocky Mountain maple, Douglas maple, Greene's maple, New Mexico maple, Torrey maple)

Salix lucida (aka: Shining willow, Greenleaf willow, Tail-leaf willow, Whiplash willow, Pacific willow, Lance-leaf willow, Longleaf willow, Red willow, Western shining willow)

Salix exigua (aka: Narrowleaf willow, Coyote willow)

Acer grandidentatum (aka: Bigtooth maple, Canyon maple, Western sugar maple)

Prunus cerasus (aka: Sour cherry, Tart cherry, Dwarf cherry, Montmorency cherry)

Prunus pumila (aka: Sandcherry, Western sandcherry, Eastern sandcherry, Great Lakes sandcherry)

Salix scouleriana (aka: Scouler's willow, Upland willow)

Celtis occidentalis (aka: Common hackberry, Bastard elm, Nettle-tree, Northern hackberry)

Salix discolor (aka: Pussy willow, American pussy willow, Glaucous willow, Large pussy willow)

Malus domestica (aka: Pyrus pumila, Malus pumila, Apple)