Apart from providing us with honey, bees perform the essential task of pollinating flowers as well as fruit trees and other plants. Over recent years bees have suffered from problems with disease and changes in land use and the consequent loss of pollinators. One way to help alleviate this problem is to grow native plants to provide the bees with what they need and, at the same time, give us colorful blooms. In her article which I found on The Master Gardeners website Mary Ann Ryan describes seven native perennials that will attract the bees.
Many of us have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, which is affecting the honey bees. Much research has and still is going on to understand what is happening to the hives. Although much has been learned about this problem, a very interesting concept has been born from it, which highlights our need to keep our native pollinators vigorous because they are great at what they do.
One thing we can all do to keep our native pollinators healthy and strong is to plant native plant species. These species are the very plants many of our pollinators are attracted to. Plants like foamflower, Echinacea, phlox, and asters are great for attracting not only bees but hummingbirds and butterflies. What better way to spend time in our garden then to enjoy the plants and activities that surround them. And on a quiet afternoon, the humming of the hummingbird moth can be the most relaxing sound.
So what are some of these important native plants? As we are at the start of the blooming season, let?s focus on some spring-blooming native plants that we might, upon inspection, find in our gardens or in nearby natural habitats.
Phlox stolonifera is a part shade loving perennial that likes well drained soils. This six-inch wonder also called creeping phlox comes in colors of purple, blue and white. Butterflies are attracted to this spring beauty.
See more at The Master Gardeners