It's So Vein
Occasionally we see a honey bee on the violet trumpet vine (Clytostoma calystegiodies) but the hummingbirds seem to like it better.
The delicate purple-veined blossoms burst out in late spring or summer. It's a UC Davis Arboretum All-Star.
What is an All-Star? According to the UC Davis Arboretum website: "The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. Many of them are California native plants and support native birds and insects. Most All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout California."
Arboretum officials list some 100 All-Stars on their website, and they periodically hold public plant sales at their teaching nursery on Garrod Drive. The last sale took place May 18.
As for the violet trumpet vine, it's one of the stars in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. The garden is open to the public for self-guided tours from dawn to dusk. Neither the UC Davis Arboretum nor the haven charges admission for self-guided tours.
A honey bee on a violet trumpet blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)