picture of bee on flower

Bees


Flowers need bees and bees need flowers, a beautiful symbiotic relationship that has endured throughout the ages. For as long as we know pollinators have come to the flowers in search or nectar and pollen and in the process of feeding, they pollinate the flowers and thus ensure the plants’ and their own continuation.
The perfection of Mother Nature’s ways seems so apparent, and yet humanity took it for granted. Now it seems we have come to a point where the bees are disappearing.

picture of Bee in Hollyhock

If you want to help  the bees and other pollinators, it is best to provide a range of plants that will offer a succession of flowers, through the whole growing season, early bloomers, late bloomers and everything in between.
Following is a list of plants that are attractive for bees, starting with the natives but also some more exotic plants are listed, for as a floral designer, I need as much variety as possible. Keep in mind though that many popular plants are hybridized  and these often have reduced nectar and pollen production, so look for ‘open pollinated’ varieties if you can.

  • Aster Aster
  • Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia                             
  • Caltrop Kallstroemia
  • Creosote bush Larrea
  • Currant Ribes
  • Elder Sambucus
  • Goldenrod Solidago
  • Huckleberry Vaccinium
  • Joe-pye weed Eupatorium
  • Lupine Lupinus
  • Oregon grape Berberis
  • Penstemon Penstemon
  • Purple coneflower Echinacea
  • Rabbit-brush Chrysothamnus
  • Rhododendron Rhododendron
  • Sage Salvia
  • Scorpion-weed Phacelia
  • Snowberry Symphoricarpos
  • Stonecrop Sedum
  • Sunflower Helianthus
  • Wild buckwheat Eriogonum
  • Wild-lilac Ceanothus
  • Willow Salix
    • Basil Ocimum
    • Cotoneaster Cotoneaster
    • English lavender Lavandula
    • Giant hyssop Agastache
    • Globe thistle Echinops
    • Hyssop Hyssopus
    • Marjoram Origanum
    • Rosemary Rosmarinus
    • Wallflower Erysimum
    • Zinnia Zinnia

    This is by no means a complete list but a good start for sure and every single one of them will be welcomed by the pollinators in your area.

    Please be aware that any pesticide you use for these plants will likely be consumed by the pollinators, always best to refrain from pesticide use whenever possible.

     

Published by

Marianna

I am a florist and urban flower farmer, I grow my flowers sustainably in underused and neglected areas in my North Portland neighborhood. I make floral designs for all sorts of occasions and also peddle flowers at the local flower market.