honey plant

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See also: honey-plant



A tree bumblebee or new garden bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) perched on the flower of a small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), a type of honey plant (sense 1), in Keila, Estonia
Flowers of the honey plant (sense 2.1) or waxplant (Hoya carnosa)
A Bombus argillaceus bumblebee foraging on a honey plant (sense 2.2) or lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) flower
Flowers of the honey plant (sense 2.3), also known as the bishop's weed or false Queen Anne's lace (Ammi majus)


honey plant (plural honey plants)

  1. (beekeeping) Any plant, all of them eudicots, from which bees usually collect nectar, pollen, or both for making honey.
    • 1863 September 12, Ellen S. Tupper, “Essay on Bees—1st Premium”, in Tenth Report of the Secretary of the State Agricultural Society, to the Governor of the State, for the Year 1863, Des Moines, Ia.: F. W. Palmer, state printer, OCLC 9641785, page 228:
      I have no doubt that where I live one thousand hives will provide for themselves and gather surplus honey wherever one can. It is not with honey plants, as with other pasturage, which once eaten off takes time and favoring showers to cause a new growth.
    • 1869 September, A. W. Harlan, “Honey Dews in the West and Southwest [From the Keokuk ‘Gate City.’]”, in Samuel Wagner, editor, American Bee Journal, volume V, number 3, Washington, D.C.: Samuel Wagner, OCLC 920419866, page 47, column 1:
      [T]he only reason that buckwheat is considered valuable as a honey plant, is because it blooms generally in dry weather late in the fall, when the difference in the temperature between two o'clock in the day and two o'clock at night is sufficient to favor the production of honey.
    • 1872, “Proceedings”, in Transactions of the North American Bee Keepers’ Society, at their First Annual Session Held at the City of Cleveland, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, December 6–8, 1872, Indianapolis, Ind.: Indianapolis Printing and Publishing House, OCLC 33979763, topic no. 6 (What are the Best Honey Producing Plants?), page 13, column 1:
      There was also another good honey plant that had lately come into notice in his section. The same described in the Bee Journal by him, that comes up in the fall and blooms the next spring, that was the best of honey plants for early spring.
    • 1922 January, E[verett] F[ranklin] Phillips; George S. Demuth, “Peculiarities of the Region”, in Beekeeping in the Tulip-tree Region (Farmers’ Bulletin; no. 1222), Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, OCLC 15265293, page 9:
      The lack of literature concerning the tulip-tree as a honey-plant is a serious one and the chief object of this bulletin is to make up this deficiency.
    • 1997, John Muir, “The Mountains of California”, in Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Selected Essays (Library of America; 92), New York, N.Y.: Library of America, →ISBN, chapter XVI (The Bee-pastures), page 523:
      But of late years plows and sheep have made sad havoc in these glorious pastures, destroying tens of thousands of the flowery acres like a fire, and banishing many species of the best honey-plants to rocky cliffs and fence-corners, []
    • 2009, Kim Flottum, “Some of the Better Honey Plants to Know”, in The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook: A Guide to Creating, Harvesting, and Cooking with Natural Honeys (Backyard Series), Beverly, Mass.: Quarry Books, Quayside Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 48:
      HONEYSUCKLE—Lonicera spp.: [] This introduced, escaped shrub is strikingly overlooked as a major honey plant.
  2. (botany) The name of a number of unrelated plants.
    1. A plant of the genus Hoya, especially the porcelainflower or waxplant (Hoya carnosa) from the tendency for excess nectar to drip from its flowers.
      Synonym: hoya
      • 1839 May, “Notices of New Plants”, in Robert Marnock, editor, The Floricultural Magazine, and Miscellany of Gardening, volume III, number XXXVI, London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., []; Sheffield, South Yorkshire: G. Ridge, page 286:
        HOYA CORIACEA. Thick leaved Hoya. [] Those of our readers unacquainted with the genus will, perhaps, understand us better by saying, that this is a kind of honey plant, familiar to most persons, with its waxy white flowers, and often grown in windows. The Hoya coriacea appears to be a thicker foliaged plant, stronger in its stem, and perhaps less inclined to become a twiner or creeper than the common honey plant.
      • 1855 June 5, T. Appleby, “Plants for Baskets”, in George W. Johnson and Robert Hogg, editors, The Cottage Gardener, and Country Gentleman’s Companion: A Journal of Horticulture, Rural and Domestic Economy, Botany, and Natural History, volume XIV, number CCCXLIX, London: Published for the proprietors, [], OCLC 503937615, page 161, column 2:
        Hoya carnosa (Thick-leaved).—Foliage large, flowers in large drooping corymbs; they are of a pinkish-white colour, and contain, or rather yield, drops of pure sweet honey; hence this fine old plant is known as the Honey plant.
      • 1875 August, Roderick Campbell, “Hoya”, in Thomas Meehan, editor, The Gardener’s Monthly: Devoted to Horticulture, Arboriculture & Rural Affairs, volume XVII (Old Series; volume VIII (New Series)), number 8, Philadelphia, Pa.: Charles H. Marot, publisher, [], page 234, column 1:
        The flowers [of the Hoya carnosa] are produced in umbels on short stems sometimes as many as a dozen on a stem; in the centre of each flower there is, as it were, a drop of thick liquid distilled, which if tasted has the luscious flavor of honey; hence the plant in England and Scotland goes under the name of Honey Plant; but quite the reverse in this country, where it is called Wax Plant.
      • 1876, Samuel Wood, “Division III. The Flower Garden.”, in A Plain Guide to Good Gardening: Or How to Grow Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers: [], 2nd edition, London: Crosby Lockwood & Co., [], OCLC 4893602, book I (Kitchen, Fruit, and Flower Gardens), section 6 (Window Gardening), page 130:
        Hoya carnosa (honey-plant). Although this is a hot-house plant it can be grown in the window of the sitting-room, and I have grown and flowered it exceedingly well in an ordinary greenhouse; []
      • 2006, “House Plants”, in Dennis R. Pittenger, editor, Retail Garden Center Manual (University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication; 3492), Oakland, Calif.: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services, →ISBN, table 4.3 (Plants for Specific Indoor Gardening Uses), page 66:
        Hoya imperialis [] Honey plant.
    2. A plant of the genus Melissa, especially lemon balm (Melissa officinalis).
      Synonym: melissa
      • 2003, Stjepan Pepeljnjak; Ivan Kosalec; Zdenka Kalodera; Danica Kuštrak, “Natural Antimycotics from Croatian Plants”, in Mahendra Rai and Donatella Mares, editors, Plant-derived Antimycotics: Current Trends and Future Prospects, Binghamton, N.Y.: Food Products Press, The Haworth Press, →ISBN, page 66:
        Honey-plant [Melissa officinalis L[innaeus] [i.e., Carl Linnaeus] (family Lamiaceae)] contains a very low concentration of essential oil in leaves (0.02–0.2 vol%).
      • 2015, Elaine Nowick, compiler, “H”, in Historical Common Names of Great Plains Plants, with Scientific Names Index, volume 1 (Common Names), Lincoln, Neb.: Zea Books, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, →ISBN, page 195:
        Honey plant [Honey-plant] – Melissa officinalis L., []
    3. Bishop's weed or false Queen Anne's lace (Ammi majus).
      • 2004, Azhar Ali Farooqi; B. S. Sreeramu, “Medicinal Crops [Honey Plant]”, in Cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic Crops, revised edition, Hyderabad, Telangana, India: Universities Press (India), →ISBN, page 156:
        English name: Honey Plant [] Species and varieties: Ammi majus L. []
      • 2012, Umberto Quattrocchi, “Ammi L. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)”, in CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: [], Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, →ISBN, page 244, column 2:
        Ammi majus Linnaeus [] in English: bishop's flower, bishop's weed, bullwort, crow's foot, devil's carrot, false Queen Anne's lace, greater ammi, herb william, honey plant, lace flower, large bulwort, mayweed, Queen Anne's lace, toothpick ammi

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