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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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Tuesday - July 01, 2014

From: Rockville, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Wildlife Gardens
Title: Listing of plants matched to specific pollinators
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Could you refer me to a listing of plants matched to specific pollinators? I have completed the conversion of a local nature center garden to a pollinator garden with all natives. We hope to place educational signs next to plants telling about their pollinators. I already have pictures of bee pollinators (from US of some of our plants but would like to include other insects. Monarchs and milkweed I know about but how can I get information about other examples of these important links.

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page we have several lists of plants that are useful to insects as sources of nectar or as a food source for their larvae. 

Since you have your plants already in place you can search each of these lists to find out if they are included on one of these lists that contain only plants native to North America.  On the species page in our Native Plant Database (especially from the list for Butterflies and Moths of North America) you may be able to find the specific pollinator associated with the plant.

The last three lists concerning plants valuable to bees came from the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation.  They have a wealth of information about pollinators including several regional lists of plants that are good for pollinators.  Their lists include both native and some non-native garden plants.

Congratulations on your project!

 

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