TREE-OF-HEAVEN (Ailanthos altissima). Trees up to 60 feet tall with great, pyramidal clusters of pale greenish flowers on male and female trees, and winged fruits that persist all winter, the leaves pinnately compound with 13 to 25 leaflets. This tree has escaped from cultivation in most of the northeastern states and in California. Walter Bielfield in Indiana gets as much as a super of a smoky-amber honey with a greenish cast and a bitter, unpleasant flavor. Tree-of-heaven spring up and grows luxuriantly in crowded city lots under the most unfavorable conditions. The staminate flowers and the leaves have an unpleasant odor.

TUPELO, OGECHE PLUM (Nyssa Ogeche and spp.). Trees with clusters of greenish flowers, the staminate and pistillate on different trees, and later soft, berrylike fruits. In southern Georgia and northwestern Florida, the ogeche plum is the leading honey plant producing tons of light amber honey in April and May. The honey has a mild, pleasant flavor and if pure never granulates. It is sold under its floral name. Along the Apalachicola River and other rivers of western Florida beekeepers operate their apiaries either from high platforms or from boats to avoid losing their colonies in the frequent floods. Other species are the tupelo gum (N. aquatica), the water tupelo (N. biflora) and the sour tupelo or sour gum (N. sylvatica). One or more of these species are common throughout the southeastern states and are important plants wherever they occur.

TURKEY MULLEIN, DOVE-WEED (Eremocarpus setigerus). Low, very hairy, pungent herbs forming prostrate mats, 5 to 8 inches high, with the foliage white and woolly, and apetalous, pale green flowers in axillary cymes. It occurs from Washington to southern California. It springs up in grain fields after the harvest in late summer along with blue curls. Turkey mullein sometimes yields a surplus of strong amber honey which is either sold for manufacturing or fed back to the bees. A beekeeper in San Diego County harvested 8 tons of this honey.

VIRGINIA CREEPER, WOODBINE (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). A woody vine climbing high into trees, tendrils with adhesive disks, leaves palmately divided into 5 leaflets, and compound greenish flower clusters. It occurs from Quebec and Manitoba south to Florida and Texas. Bees visit the flowers in June and July and collect considerable nectar where the vines are common.

YERBA DULCE (Baccharis angustifolia). A shrub with very slender leaves and greenish composite heads of tubular flowers. It blooms in the fall along the Gulf Coast and in the east Texas marshes and sometimes yields a small surplus of light-amber honey.


FIGWORT, SIMPSON’S HONEY PLANT (Scrophularia marilandica). Coarse herbs 3 to 10 feet tall, leaves paired with tooth margins, and great terminal clusters of flowers chiefly brown with some purple markings, common from South Dakota to Georgia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, usually confined to rich woods in open areas. The nectar is secreted very abundantly by two glands at base of the flower. At one time it was believed that fig-wort would become a great honey plant and a test planting was made at Medina (Gleanings, Feb. 1882). The seeds were widely distributed and first reports were enthusiastic. However, the amount of work necessary to cultivate an otherwise useless plant made it unwise to continue the project. Fig-wort is visited so extensively by wasps that it is often referred to as a wasp flower. There are two species on the west coast that are also visited by bees according to Scullen and Vansell.