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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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Saturday - August 30, 2014

From: Aurora, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Wildlife Gardens
Title: Plants beneficial to honey bees in Indiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am searching for a list of shrubs, vines, low growing plants that would benefit, specifically honeybees in southeast Indiana. My Soil & Water Conservation District would like to offer these plants free to honey bee owners.


On our Special Collections page we have a section titled SPECIAL BENEFITS TO INSECTS with a link to Special Value to Honey Bees.  There are 238 plants on the list and you can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose those native plants that are found in Indiana by selecting that state from the Select State or Province slot.  This narrows the list to 109 plants.   If you want to narrow it to only non-woody plants, you can then choose "Herb" from General Appearance.

Here are a few herbs from that list that are commercially available:

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Cleome serrulata (Rocky mountain beeplant)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian sunflower)

Monarda punctata (Spotted beebalm)

Oligoneuron rigidum var. rigidum (Stiff goldenrod)

Or, you can narrow the list by choosing "Shrub":

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

Rubus odoratus (Purpleflowering raspberry)

Salix discolor (Pussy willow)

There are also "Trees" with flowers for honey bees:

Acer rubrum (Red maple)

Malus coronaria (Sweet crabapple)

Prunus americana (American plum)

There are lots more choices on the list.


From the Image Gallery

Swamp milkweed
Asclepias incarnata

Asclepias tuberosa

Rocky mountain beeplant
Cleome serrulata

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Stiff goldenrod
Oligoneuron rigidum var. rigidum

Common ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Purple-flowering raspberry
Rubus odoratus

Pussy willow
Salix discolor

Red maple
Acer rubrum

Sweet crabapple
Malus coronaria

American plum
Prunus americana

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