Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 18, 2015

From: Palm Springs, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pollinators, Drought Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Pollinators for Palm Springs, CA
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Just moved to Palm Springs, California. Hot and dry, desert region. What bee and pollinator-friendly plants would do well with full afternoon sun?

ANSWER:

Boy – Did you ask the right question!   The Wildflower Center has a list within its Special Collections for bees and such-like.  It is the “California Pollinator Plant List”  It has 21 California native plants that are recommended as highly attractive to pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds.

As it seems just a bit too easy to just tag this list and as Palm Springs has such a desert-like climate, I also examined the USDA link, which shows where the plant is native right down to the county.

Here are a few that are listed as native to Riverside County [and thrive in a dry soil in the sun]:

Asclepias fascicularis (Mexican whorled milkweed)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern mojave buckwheat)

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)

Helianthus annuus (Common sunflower)

Layia platyglossa (Coastal tidytips)

Phacelia tanacetifolia (Lacy phacelia)

 

From the Image Gallery


California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Eastern mojave buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium

Mexican whorled milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis

Common sunflower
Helianthus annuus

California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Coastal tidytips
Layia platyglossa

Lacy phacelia
Phacelia tanacetifolia

Common sunflower
Helianthus annuus

More Pollinators Questions

Smarty Plants on pollinators
February 20, 2005 - I am researching threatened pollinators in Texas and elsewhere - bees, butterflies, hummingbirds. I would like your input on the subject.
view the full question and answer

Compact possumhaw holly for Plano TX
April 19, 2010 - What variety of possumhaw holly would be best planted close to a house? I'm looking for a variety 15-25 feet, as compact as possible. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Bee Plants for Victoria Texas
March 09, 2013 - I live in Victoria south Texas and want to plant bee beneficial native wildflowers, could you provide advice or contact
view the full question and answer

Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
view the full question and answer

Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
January 31, 2015 - Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.