Plants Attractive to Native Bees

Now that beekeeping is legal in NYC we are going to have a lot more bees! And that is a good thing. Here is a list of plants that bees like. If you ask me the list has pretty much all the plants in the world, but I didn’t make the list (USDA did) and I’m sure they know what they are talking about (at least here, I wouldn’t trust the USDA on many other food issues but that’s not something I want to bother the bees with).

So plant these in your gardens so that the bees can feel welcome in their new home!

Sorted By Genus

Blue plant names are widely cultivated & broadly attractive to bees.

Caprifoliaceae Abelia abelia
Fabaceae Acacia acacia
Aceraceae Acer maple
Asteraceae Achillea yarrow A. millefolium weedy
Ranunculaceae Aconitum monkshood
Lamiaceae Agastache hyssop
Lamiaceae Ajuga carpet bugle
Malvaceae Althea hollyhock not doubled
Liliaceae Allium allium
Rosaceae Amelanchier serviceberry
Boraginaceae Anchusa wild forget-me-not
Apiaceae Anethum dill
Ranunculaceae Aquilegia columbine not doubled
Ericaceae Arctostaphylos manzanita
Papaveraceae Argemone prickly poppy
Plumbaginaceae Armeria sea thrift
Asteraceae Aster aster not doubled
Fabaceae Astragalus locoweed
Asteraceae Baileya desert marigold
Fabaceae Baptisia false indigo
Berberidaceae Berberis barberry
Boraginaceae Borago borage
Brassicaceae Brassica mustard B. kaber and B. nigra weedy
Lamiaceae Calamintha calamint
Malvaceae Callirhoe wine cups, poppy mallow
Ericaceae Calluna heather
Onagraceae Camissonia camissonia
Campanulaceae Campanula bell flower
Fabaceae Caragena Siberian peashrub
Aizoaceae Carpobrotus ice plant some weedy
Asteraceae Carthamnus safflower
Lamiaceae Caryopteris blue mist spirea
Fabaceae Cassia senna
Rhamnaceae Ceanothus buckbrush
Asteraceae Centaurea bachelor’s button, corn flower not doubled, some weedy
Caryophyllaceae Cerastium snow-in-summer avoid chickweeds
Fabaceae Cercidium palo verde
Fabaceae Cercis redbud
Rosaceae Cercocarpus mountain mahogany
Rosaceae Chaenomeles flowering quince
Bignoniaceae Chilopsis desert willow
Asteraceae Chrysanthemum chrysanthemum simple flowered
Asteraceae Chrysothamnus rabbit brush, chamisa
Cucurbitaceae Citrullus watermelon
Rutaceae Citrus grapefruit, orange, lemon
Fabaceae Coronilla crownvetch
Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita squash, gourd, pumpkin
Onagraceae Clarkia clarkia not doubled
Asteraceae Cosmos cosmos
Apiaceae Coriandrum coriander
Asteraceae Coreopsis coreopsis
Lythraceae Cuphea false heather C. hyssopifolia
Rosaceae Cydonia fruiting quince
Asteraceae Cynara artichoke, cardoon
Boraginaceae Cynoglossum comfrey
Apiaceae Daucus carrot some weedy
Ranunculaceae Delphinium larkspur not doubled
Scrophulariaceae Digitalis foxglove
Asteraceae Echinacea cone flower
Boraginaceae Echium pride of Madeira E. fastuosum
Asteraceae Erigeron fleabane
Hydrophyllaceae Eriodictyon yerba santa
Polygonaceae Eriogonum wild buckwheat
Apiaceae Eryngium eryngo, button-celery, coyote-thistle
Brassicaceae Erysimum wallflower
Asteraceae Eupatorium joe pye weed not E. capillifolium
Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia spurge some weedy
Cactaceae Ferocactus barrel cactus
Apiaceae Foeniculum fennel F. vulgare
Rosaceae Fragaria strawberry
Sterculiaceae Fremontodendron flannelbush
Asteraceae Gaillardia blanket flower not doubled
Onagraceae Gaura gaura
Gentianaceae Gentiana blue gentian
Asteraceae Geraea desert sunflower
Rosaceae Geum avens
Polemoniaceae Gilia gilia blue or violet
Fabaceae Glycyrrhiza licorice
Asteraceae Grindelia gumweed
Boraginaceae Hackelia wild formet-me-not
Lamiaceae Hedeoma sweetscent, mock pennyroyal
Fabaceae Hedysarum sweet vetch, french honeysuckle
Asteraceae Helenium sneezeweed
Asteraceae Helianthella sunflower
Asteraceae Helianthus sunflower not doubled
Boraginaceae Heliotropium heliotrope
Malvaceae Hibiscus rose-of-sharon, hollyhock not doubled
Asteraceae Hieracium hawkweed
Rosaceae Holodiscus cliff spirea, mountainspray
Asteraceae Hymenopappus false cosmos
Asteraceae Hymenoxys alpine sunflower
Lamiaceae Hyptis desert lavendar
Aquifoliaceae Ilex holly
Malvaceae Iliamna mountain hollyhock
Zygophyllaceae Kallstroemia Arizona poppy
Scrophulariaceae Keckiella bush penstemon
Lamiaceae Lamium dead nettles incl. Lamiastrum
Zygophyllaceae Larrea creosote bush
Fabaceae Lathyrus everlasting pea
Lamiaceae Lavendula lavendar
Asteraceae Layia tidytips
Fabaceae Lespedeza bush clover esp. L. cuneata
Brassicaceae Lesquerella bladderpod
Asteraceae Liatris blazing star
Limnanthaceae Limnanthes meadowfoam, fried egg flower
Polemoniaceae Linanthus mountain phlox
Scrophulariaceae Linaria toadflax L. dalmatica & vulgaris weedy
Linaceae Linum flax
Fabaceae Lotus birdsfoot trefoil, lotus
Solanaceae Lycium wolfberry
Berberidaceae Mahonia mahonia
Rosaceae Malus apple
Malvaceae Malva mallow
Fabaceae Medicago alfalfa, medic
Fabaceae Melilotus sweet clover can be weedy
Lamiaceae Mentha mint
Loasaceae Mentzelia blazing star
Boraginaceae Mertensia bluebells
Scrophulariaceae Mimulus monkey flower
Lamiaceae Monarda bee balm not red
Myoporaceae Myoporum myoporum M. laetum
Hydrophyllaceae Nemophila blue eyes
Lamiaceae Nepeta catmint esp. hybrid N. x faassenii
Lamiaceae Ocimum basil
Onagraceae Oenothera evening primrose
Cactaceae Opuntia pear cactus
Lamiaceae Origanum oregano
Ericaceae Oxydendrum sourwood
Fabaceae Oxytropis locoweed
Fabaceae Parkinsonia Mexican palo verde
Scrophulariaceae Pedicularis lousewort
Scrophulariaceae Penstemon penstemon not red, consider P. strictus
Lamiaceae Perovskia Russian sage, filigran P. atriplicifolia
Fabaceae Petalostemon prairie clover
Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia bluebells, scorpionweed
Ericaceae Phyllodoce mountain-heath
Solanaceae Physalis groundcherry
Rosaceae Physocarpus ninebark
Lamiaceae Physostegia obedient plant
Ericaceae Pieris fetterbush
Papaveraceae Platystemon creamcups
Polemoneaceae Polemonium Jacob’s ladder
Pontederiaceae Pontederia pickerelweed
Fabaceae Prosopis mesquite
Lamiaceae Prunella henbit
Rosaceae Prunus cherry, plum not doubled
Fabaceae Psorothamnus dalea
Rosaceae Purshia cliff rose
Lamiaceae Pycnanthemum mountain mint
Brassicaceae Raphanus mustard
Asteraceae Ratibida Mexican hat
Rhamnaceae Rhamnus buckthorn
Anacardiaceae Rhus sumac
Grossulariaceae Ribes currant
Fabaceae Robinia black locust
Papaveraceae Romneya Matilija poppy
Rosaceae Rosa rugosa-type and wild roses not doubled, some weedy
Lamiaceae Rosmarinus rosemary
Rosaceae Rubus raspberry, blackberry, brambles some weedy
Asteraceae Rudbeckia black-eyed susan
Salicaceae Salix willow not weeping willow
Lamiaceae Salvia salvia blue or violet
Caprifoliaceae Sambucus elderberry
Dipsaceae Scabiosa pincushion flower not doubled
Crassulaceae Sedum sedum, stonecrop
Asteraceae Senecio senecio
Malvaceae Sidalcea checkermallow
Asteraceae Silybum milk thistle
Solanaceae Solanum nightshade some weedy
Asteraceae Solidago goldenrod
Malvaceae Sphaeralcea globemallow
Rosaceae Spiraea spiraea
Lamiaceae Stachys lamb’s ear
Brassicaceae Stanleya prince’s plume
Boraginaceae Sympytum comfrey can be weedy
Portulacaceae Talinum flame flower
Apiaceae Tanacetum tansy
Bignoniaceae Tecoma yellow trumpet bush
Lamiaceae Teucrium germander
Fabaceae Thermopsis false lupine, golden pea
Lamiaceae Thymus thyme
Tiliaceae Tilia basswood
Asteraceae Tithonia Mexican sunflower
Lamiaceae Trichostema bluecurls
Fabaceae Trifolium clover
Ericaceae Vaccinium blueberry, cranberry, huckleberry acid soils required
Valerianaceae Valeriana valerian
Verbenaceae Verbena verbena not red
Asteraceae Verbesina golden crownbeard
Scrophulariaceae Veronica speedwell, veronica
Caprifoliaceae Viburnum arrowood, snowball bush
Fabaceae Vicia vetch
Asteraceae Viguiera showy golden-eye
Violaceae Viola violets not pansies
Asteraceae Wyethia mules ear
Asteraceae Zinnia zinnia not doubled

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

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