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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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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

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