A very nice article I read today confirms something I observed last year: native pollinators prefer native flowers. Since there’s so many different kinds, from bees to syrphid flies, you need many different flowers over the course of the seasons to feed them. You can find lists of suggested plants, but the easy way is to let even the weeds flower and see who turns up. Or at least, that’s what I did last year.
So this is my list so far, of plants that are the biggest hits with pollinators in my little corner of Massachusetts:
- Daisy Fleabane
- St. John’s Wort
- Veronica Spicata
- Virginia Creeper
- Purple Coneflowers
- Heart-Leaved Aster
The Veronica is not a native plant, but it feeds little bees all summer. And there’s another exception staring right at you: Grape hyacinth. With all the tulips and daffodils wide open all over the place, it’s the grape hyacinths I see bees visiting. Maybe they’re not native, but the bumblebees love it.