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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 - July 13, 2013

From: Eureka, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Wildflowers for bees in Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I just became a beekeeper and would like to plant wildflowers that are best for bees. The area to plant is partially shaded with clay soil. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

We do, indeed, have suggestions.  On our Recommended Species page we have links to several lists with recommendations under the VALUE TO BENEFICIAL INSECTS section.  You definitely want to check out the Special Value to Honey Bees file with a list of more than 230 plants.   You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the list to those plants that occur in Missouri by choosing your state from the Select State or Province slot and    You can also pick other criteria, such as Light Requirement, Soil Moisure, etc.   There isn't a choice for type of soil in the NARROW YOUR SEARCH area, but the majority of the plant species pages give the preferred soil type under GROWING CONDITIONS on the species page.

Here are a few possibilities that I found, but there are many more possibilities for you to consider.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

 Asclepias verticillata (Whorled milkweed)

 Ilex verticillata (Common winterberry)

Solidago altissima (Tall goldenrod)

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

 Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Whorled milkweed
Asclepias verticillata

Common winterberry
Ilex verticillata

Tall goldenrod
Solidago altissima

Common ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

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