En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Sunday - August 12, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Native plants to attract bees for vegetable garden
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for native plants that can help attract bees around my vegetable garden to help with pollination. What recommendations do you have?

ANSWER:

Bees, honey bees and native solitary bees, are especially attracted to plants in the aster family (Family Asteraceae), buckwheat family (Family Polygonaceae), and mint family (Family Lamiaceae). Here are some suggestions for plants native to Travis County, Texas that are good bee attractors:

Asteraceae

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Helianthus annuus (common sunflower)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Echinacea angustifolia (blacksamson echinacea)

Solidago nemoralis (gray goldenrod)

Polygonaceae

Eriogonum longifolium (longleaf buckwheat)

Eriogonum multiflorum (heartsepal buckwheat)

Lamiaceae

Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has a list of bee attracting plants where you can find more suggestions for plants for your garden. Please realize that all those plants on the list are not native to your area and, indeed, some are not even native to North America. For a list of plants native Travis County, visit the web page of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

For a discussion of the mysterious disappearance of honeybees (Apis mellifera), there is an excellent article, Stung, by Elizabeth Kolbert, in the August 6, 2007 issue of the New Yorker.


Coreopsis tinctoria

Helianthus annuus

Rudbeckia hirta

Echinacea angustifolia

Solidago nemoralis

Eriogonum multiflorum

Monarda citriodora

Salvia coccinea

Salvia farinacea

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Wildlife benefit of western coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis)
October 16, 2007 - A neighbor and I are planting a nearby waste area. I'd like to plant things that will help any wildlife that's managed to survive, probably birds. I may be able to get Western Coneflower (Rudbeckia ...
view the full question and answer

Attracting birds in Greenville, SC
April 15, 2009 - Hi, I live in Northeastern South Carolina near the mountains and I am making a shade garden in my back yard. I also want to attract birds to my yard. There are 100 ft tall and even some 125 ft tal...
view the full question and answer

Evergreens for a deer corridor in MI
April 16, 2012 - I am growing three rows of evergreens for a wildlife, deer travel corridor, and am looking for which trees grow well together and are shade tolerant of each other when planted at the same time, or at ...
view the full question and answer

Birds attracted to wax myrtles in Austin
January 12, 2010 - Hello! We are considering planting Wax Myrtles in our relatively small SW Austin backyard. I'm excited about its ability to create quick privacy, but I was wondering specifically, what types of bird...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife and bird friendly hedgerow for Chicago suburb
November 30, 2013 - Want to plant a wildlife/bird friendly hedgerow in suburban Chicago. Looking for a recommended mix of understory trees as well a shrubs and grasses. Site is part shade with average to wet soil and tr...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center