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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - January 27, 2014

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Pollinators, Wildlife Gardens, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.

ANSWER:

In looking for information about bees, we find that in addition to the bees that you are raising (Apis mellifera ), there are at least 2,000 species of native of bees in Texas which also play a part in the pollination of native plants and agricultural crops.

I’m including several links to sources about bees and “bee friendly plants”. The first is Texas Bee Watchers   and their list of “Bee friendly plants for Texas” 

Another source is the Pollinator Partnership which has a pollinator guide  (this is a large file, and opens slowly) for your area that includes bee, wasps, butterflies, and other pollinators.

You can check out the plants on these lists by using our Native Plant Database . Type the scientific name of the plant in the space provided  and click the GO button. This will bring up the plant’s NPIN page which has  a description of the plant, growth characteristics, and in most cases images. Scrolling down the page to ADDITIONAL RESOURCES and clicking on the plant name beside USDA: will bring up the USDA  Plants Profile page that contains a geographic distribution for the plant.

This previous question  is similar to yours, but from a different part of the state.

This link to the Native Plant Society of Texas describes several of the native bees.

You may be already familiar with the Texas Beekeepers Association .

Hopefully, these resources will be helpful to you.

 

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