Importance Of Pollinators
Native pollinators—bees, butterflies, moths, bats and birds—play a critical role in sustaining ecosystems and provide essential services to American agriculture (estimated at as much as $9 billion annually).
Yet pollinators are in trouble. More than 50 native bees are in documented decline, with 9 critically imperiled, including the Franklin’s bumble bee. Another iconic North American pollinator—the monarch butterfly—is in severe decline, down from a billion monarchs 20 years ago to 35 million today. Research shows that native pollinators can be two to three times as effective at pollinating agricultural crops as non-native honeybees.
Native Pollinators Need Native Plants and Natural Landscapes
At the Wildflower Center, we:
- Create pollinator habitats in urban planned landscapes such as at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas and the Mission Reach on the San Antonio River
- Partner with the Xerces Society and Butterflies and Moths of North America to help gardeners find thousands of plants that sustain bees and butterflies
- Educate school groups and parents and children about native pollinators and the plants that they need
- Support pollinators on our 279 acres in Austin
- Provide sustainably grown native plants at plant sales for homeowners to create pollinator-friendly gardens
- Conserve seeds of important pollinator plants for future use and research
Project Milkweed at the Wildflower Center
Learn about Project Milkweed, our project to increase the milkweed populations in support of monarchs.
Pollinator Conservation Resource Center
Pollinator-Friendly Plants for Texas
- Milkweed Species for Central Texas
- Texas Milkweed Identification Guide (PDF)
- Butterfly Plants for South Texas (National Butterfly Center)
- Hummingbird Plants for Central Texas (Texas Parks and WIldlife Department)
Pollinator Plants by Region
- California Pollinator Plant List (California)
- Great Lakes Pollinator Plant List (Ontario, Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York)
- Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Plant List (Southern New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Northern North Carolina)
- Midwest Pollinator Plant List (Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana)
- Northeast Pollinator Plant List (Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and eastern New York)
- Maritime Northwest Pollinator Plant List (Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia)
Plants of Special Value to Beneficial Insects
From The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
- Special Value to Native Bees - Attracts large numbers of native bees.
- Special Value to Bumble Bees - Attracts large numbers of bumble bees.
- Special Value to Honey Bees - Important pollen or nectar sources for honey bees.
- Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees - Plants that native bees nest beneath, within, or harvest parts from to construct their nests.
- Supports Conservation Biological Control - Plants that attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon pest insects.
- Milkweed Finder - Find Sources of Native Milkweed Seed in Your State.
- Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide - Plant Ecology, Seed Production Methods, and Habitat Restoration Opportunities.
Butterfly and Moth Plants for North America
This information was provided by Butterflies and Moths of North America
Presidential Memorandum - Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators (June 20, 2014).
Supporting the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators - Guidance for Federal Agencies on Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes and Supporting Pollinators on Federal Landscapes (October, 2014).
Monarch Joint Venture
The Wildflower Center is a proud member of Monarch Joint Venture (MJV). MJV is a national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration.
Monarch Gateway is a 501c3 non profit organization and leader of the Monarch Host Cities Partnership Project with a goal of creating contiguous Monarch Host Gardens on city and municipal properties along central and coastal Monarch migratory flyways.
Journey North coordinates one of the biggest monarch citizen science programs in the world. In a unique partnership, you can join students and scientists across North America this spring to track the monarch butterfly's migration from Mexico. Click here to see the Spring 2015 Migration.
National Pollinator Garden Network
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a partner with conservation organizations across the United States that comprise the National Pollinator Garden Network, which supports and promotes the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Learn more about this important coalition dedicated to polinator recovery in the United States.
Support the Wildflower Center’s critical work now
We work to increase the use of native plants that are essential to the survival of native pollinators like native bees, butterflies, bats, moths, and flies.
Our success depends on your support. Without pollinators there would be few native plants and without native plants there would be few pollinators. Please donate today to help us help pollinators.