Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Friday - June 26, 2015

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Wildflowers
Title: Pollinators for Washington State
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am removing invasive knotweed in the Pacific Northwest and I would like to provide native plant alternatives that would flower and provide pollen in the late summer/fall for native and naturalized pollinators. Please help and thank you in advance!

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants and the Wildflower Center thank you for chasing after and removing that Fallopia japonica

We have a good tool for suggesting alternatives.   The Wildflower Center maintains lists of Special Collections of native plants organized by area and function.  One of these is the Special Collection for “Special Value to Native Bees”   [there are also lists for Bumble Bees, Honey Bees and for nesting materials for native bees]

These special collections have the capability to search the data for region and a number of characteristics.   As you asked about candidates that bloom in late summer or fall – I selected Washington State and plants that bloomed in August through December.  This still left 109 candidates, so I think you have a pretty good choice.  I’ll include pictures from twelve of them below, but you should try to use this database yourself to make a selection!

 

From the Image Gallery


Fireweed
Chamerion angustifolium

California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Yellow spiderflower
Cleome lutea

Rocky mountain beeplant
Cleome serrulata

Common woolly sunflower
Eriophyllum lanatum

Clustered thistle
Cirsium brevistylum

Flat-top goldentop
Euthamia graminifolia var. graminifolia

Spotted trumpetweed
Eupatoriadelphus maculatus var. maculatus

Common gaillardia
Gaillardia aristata

Silky lupine
Lupinus sericeus

Common sunflower
Helianthus annuus

Wild mint
Mentha arvensis

More Wildflowers Questions

Survivability of Texas wildflower seeds in Zone 5A or 5B
October 13, 2006 - What are the recommended hardiness zones for Texas wildflowers? Could these seeds survive in a 5A and 5B climate? If so, when would be the correct time to plant seeds for zone 5A/5B?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of over-watering of Asclepias tuberosa
August 05, 2005 - Another question about butterfly weeds, the leaves on one of my plants are turning a yellow-red color and the blossoms seem to be dying (drying up) before they can bloom. It is right in the same area...
view the full question and answer

Mosquito-deterring plants for shady hillside
July 05, 2011 - We have a part to full shaded hill side/ native woodland area that was once covered with english ivy..we managed to get rid of all the ivy but now we are overtaken with violets..maybe they are even na...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Septic Field in NC
August 14, 2013 - What kinds of low water plants can I plant over a new septic field in North Carolina? The area is part sun so I am concerned about having trouble getting grass started.
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012 - Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
view the full question and answer

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