Plants for Honeybees Annuals Anchusa capensis Forget-me-not. To 1 ½-feet with light blue blooms in spring. Basils. Many varieties: lemon, Genovese, Greek mini, Anise, Thai and others. Bidens ferulifolia Two-feet wide, one-foot tall annual with delicate foliage that is covered with cheerful, yellow daisy flowers almost all year in a frost-free climate. Easy to grow, full sun, drought resistant. Borago officinalis Borage. Blue-flowered herb that prefers cool growing conditions. Blooms in spring or early summer. Centaurea cyanus Bachelor buttons. Three-foot tall, spring flowering plant with blue, pink, burgundy or white flowers. Chamaemelum nobilis Roman Chamomile. Spring flowering, cool season annual with masses of white chamomile daisies. Can seed everywhere. Circium occidentalis Cobweb Thistle. Drainage-sensitive native thistle with white foliage and red flowers. Blooms spring, to two-feet. Cosmos bipinnatus Pink Cosmos. To 4-5 feet. Blooms mid-summer. Easy. Cosmos,sulfereus Klondyke Cosmos. Orange cosmos to four-feet covered in small, burnt red-orange flowers, blooms slightly later and longer than the pink cosmos. Easy. Echium vulgare Vipers Bugloss. Cool season annual with blue flowers to 2-feet. Blooms spring. Echium plantagineum „Blue Bedder‟. 1‟ HA covered with brilliant blue blooms all summer in cooler climates. Likes sun, will reseed. Avg. water. Gilia capitata Globe Gilia. Small plant to 1-foot with fuzzy, delicate heads of light blue flowers. Helianthus gracilentus Sunflower. Tall, multi-headed native sunflower to four-feet. Long bloom season mid-summer to late summer. Lots of small yellow blooms, very good and drought resistant. Bee favorite. Helianthus annuas Sunflower. Single, large flowers or multi-headed. Short bloom season mid-summer. Varieties like Japanese, Italian and others have small, multiple blooms from midsummer until late summer. Linaria moroccana Linaria. Charming, one-foot tall annual with small, magenta to pastel, snapdragon-like blooms. First to bloom in spring. Good direct seeded. Linaria reticulata „Flamenco‟. HA from Morocco to 2 ft with narrow leaves and lots of purple and orange flowers like miniature snapdragons in spring. Lotus purshianus Spanish Clover. Native lotus with light pink flowers; 4-inches tall, to 1 ½-feet wide. Excellent plant that blooms with no irrigation late spring through midsummer. Madia elegans Tarweed. Three to four-foot tall, late summer blooming annual with lots of bright yellow daisy flowers. Has sticky foliage with a distinctive resinous smell. Grows in adverse conditions in full sun with no irrigation. Great plant. Marrubium vulgare Horehound. Late spring, early summer bloomer to 1-foot with gray coarse foliage. Has naturalized. Melilotus albus var. annua ”Hubam‟ White sweet clover. Not a true clover, but has three to five-foot spikes of very fragrant, small pea flowers. Great soil builder and nitrogen fixer. Also comes in biennial varieties. Papaver „Greek Poppy‟. A rhoeas type poppy with scarlet blooms with black blotches at base of petals. To 16.” Phacelia tanacetifolia Phacelia. Late spring blooming annual to 4 feet. Fragrant, light blue flowers. Bee favorite. Phacelia viscida Phacelia. Beautiful upright, bell-shaped, light blue flowers on a one-foot plant. Spring bloomer. P. campanularia is similar, but with deep blue flowers. P. grandiflora: to 16-inches with light blue flowers. P campanularia: to 12 inches with gentian blue flowers. Biennials Angelica gigas Angelica. Striking, architectural biennial plant to three-feet; umbellifera flowers in white to five-feet. Blooms spring/ early summer. Echium wildpretti Tower of Jewels. Six to ten-feet; biennial. First year this Echium is a large rosette of leaves, second year the plant sends up a fantastic blue flowering spike to seven-feet or more in late spring/summer, then dies. Perennials Agastache foeniculum Anise hyssop. Three-foot erect, narrow, short-lived perennial with spikes of light blue flowers like mini bottle brushes. Whole plant is wonderfully anise scented. Mid-summer bloomer. Will rebloom if cut back. Angelica pachycarpa. Angelica from New Zealand to 3X3. Fragrant cream flowers, glossy, attractive leaves. Aster lateriflorus „Prince‟. Clump forming aster to 2X2 with dark purplish, green foliage with an abundance of small pink/white flowers with reddish centers. Late summer bloomer. Aster lateriflorus „Lady In Black‟. Aster that forms colonies of dark purple, upright stems and has tiny, white blush pink flowers. Late summer bloomer. Asclepias eriocarpa, fasicularis, syracia Milkweeds. Gray-foliaged plants with narrow to wide leaves from one to five feet tall, with large rounded umbels of white or pink flowers that are often fragrant. Dies to ground in winter. Blooms early summer to midsummer. Very drought resistant. Main food plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Can be prone to orange aphids late in season. Aster „Monte Casino,‟ „Little Carlow,‟ „Fanny,‟ “Prince,‟ „Lady in Black,‟ „ Monch,‟ and more. From one-foot to three-feet Late summer/fall bloomers with masses of white, blue or pink daisy flowers. Baccharis pilularis Coyote bush. Upright; forms to six-feet, prostrate forms to two feet. Nondescript evergreen, dense shrub with small, rounded leaves; has white cottony flowers late summer to fall that are very attractive to bees and beneficial insects. Ballota pseudodictamnus, and „All Hallows Green‟. Low, Mediterranean perennial similar to horehound. Species has gray, aromatic, felt-like leaves. „All Hallows Green‟ has striking, rough green leaves. Blooms spring/summer. Calamintha nepeta. Small thyme-like rangy perennial covered with more flowers than leaves; one-foot by one-foot. Blooms all summer into fall. Caryopteris incana „Bluebeard‟. 3X5 perennial/shrub with intense dark purple flowers that encircle the stems. Blooms late summer. Cynara cardunculus Cardoon. Striking, artichoke-like plant with architectural, white leaves, and blue thistle flowers to five-feet, or more, when blooming. Coreopsis grandiflora. Green clumping perennial to one-foot with bright yellow, broad petaled daisy flowers. Blooms late spring. Dahlia coccinea Dahlia. Summer blooming tuber with red single flowers to four-feet. Dormant in winter. Echium simplex . From the Canary islands. Striking drought tolerant Echium with white, 6 ft bloom spike. May be short lived. Zones 9-11. Echium hyb. „Mr Happy‟. Hybrid of E. wildprettii and E. pininana with bulbous pink flower spike to 15‟. Drought tolerant and needs good drainage. Zones 9-11. Echinops bannaticus „Blue Glow‟ Globe Thistle. 2X2. Perennial with globes of metallic blue blooms. Like moderate water and good drainage. Echinops ritro Globe Thistle. Perennial thistle to three-feet with bright metallic, blue flowers in late spring, midsummer. Eriogonum fasciculatum California Buckwheat. Evergreen, narrow, gray leaved, Buckwheat to two by two-feet with white flowers. Very drought resistant; long summer bloomer. Eryngium planum „Blue Hobbit‟. 1x2 Metallic blue thistle-like flowers, pest free, moderate water to drought and tolerates poor soil. Good cut flower. Eryngium ssp. Sea Holly. Wonderful metallic blue thistle flowers to about two-feet. Very tough. Likes sun. Eupatorium, most : fistulosum, purpureum, rugosum Joe Pye Weed. Native to the Midwest, these perennials have mauve or white flower umbels on terminal ends of plants that are from three-feet to five-feet tall and bloom midsummer. They go completely dormant in winter. Euphorbia mellifera. Evergreen, shrubby Euphorbia six-feet tall, eight-feet wide with honey scented flowers in spring. Zones 9-10; from Madeira. Gaillardia grandiflora Blanket Flower. Tough, Southwest native with orange/red and yellow large, daisy flowers. To two-feet. Summer flowering. Gaillardia aristata „Arizona Sun‟. 2X2 Blanket flower with cheerful yellow/orange, 4 inch daisy flowers. Likes sun, tough. Helenium autumnale Sneezeweed. Long, late summer flowering Midwest native with daisy-like flowers with prominent disc florets and ray florets in autumn shades of orange/yellow red/brown. From three to five-feet. Clump forming and dies to ground in winter. Likes moisture. Helianthus- Perennial Sunflower, hirsutus, angustifolious and others. To six-feet that bloom in the fall. Many small flowers. Helianthus maximiianii. Perennial sunflower that blooms all summer to 6‟ ft.. Has gold yellow flowers. Will grow in clay to sand. Very hardy. Avg–low water. Heliopsis helianthoides Oxeye Sunflower. Multiflowered sunflower-like perennials from the dry prairie. Yellow flowers on the terminal ends of the three to six-foot stalks. Blooms midsummer to early autumn. Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop. Evergreen, aromatic herb with small leaves and blue flowers to about one-foot by one-foot. Blooms midsummer. Lavandula angustifolia Lavender, most. Blue flowered, aromatic, evergreen, gray perennial shrubs to about two-feet by two-feet. Lives about five years. Liatris pyconostachya Kansas Gayfeather. Perennial from the prairie; to about two-feet with tall spikes of fuzzy, pink flowers and lance shaped leaves. Likes moisture; blooms midsummer to autumn. Limonium perezii Perennial Statice. Rounded, large leaves and form a rosette to one-foot by one-foot, with bright blue large rounded umbel flowers emerging from it to 16 inches. Blooms all summer. Linaria purpurea Toadflax. Erect, slender perennial to three-feet from the dry Mediterranean with linear, mid-green leaves and spikes of violet purple flowers spring to fall. Linaria purpurea. From southern Europe. 3 ft, narrow perennial with purplish foliage and violet/lavender flowers in summer. Will reseed slightly. Linaria triornithophora „Three Birds Flying‟. 3 foot tall Linaria with purple, strikingly marked, long spurred flowers, late spring through early summer. Avg water, soil. Zones 7-10. Lotus scoparious Deerweed. A native, deciduous perennial to two-feet with erect small stems and pinnate, small leaves. Flowers are yellow and small infloresences. Blooms March through August. Nitrogen fixing and likes dry areas. Monardella villosa Coyote Mint. Rangy perennial with rounded, aromatic leaves to about one- foot, and fuzzy heads of mauve flowers. Likes dry conditions. Stems are brittle. Nepeta Mussinii Catmint. Clump-forming perennial with spreading stems with ovate leaves to one-foot high and two-feet wide; blue, mint- like flowers. Blooms spring to midsummer. Nepeta tuberosa. Deep purple flower spikes rise in profusion the 2nd year to 2 ft from gray fleshy foliage. Very drought tolerant. Needs good drainage. Zones 7-10. Oreganum Oregano most, including Dittany. Perennial oreganos that can be clumping or spreading. All have rounded aromatic leaves and purplish flowers. Laevigatum varieties can be invasive. „Herrenhuasen‟ is good. “Kent Beauty‟ O. microphylum and dittanys are good plants for the dry border that won‟t spread. Bloom time is summer. Origanum dictamnus. Dittany of Crete. Size: 6” X 16”. Drought tolerant , aromatic rock garden origanum that needs good drainage and has wonderful apery hop-like pink flowers. Sun. Origanum vulgare. Wild Marjoram. to 3 inches tall, good for ground cover. Pelargonium (scented) Scented Geraniums. These tender perennials range from about one-foot by one-foot to two-feet by four-feet. Some well behaved varieties are „Nutmeg‟ and „Ginger.‟ Perovskia atricipifolia Russian Sage. Upright sub-shrub with gray-white leaves and tall spikes of violet-blue flowers. Native Phacelia bolanderi. Phacelia to 14 inches with soft blue flowers in hanging bells. Likes shade and some summer water. Prunella vulgaris or grandiflora Selfheal. Spreading, evergreen groundcover grown for their spikes of tubular, violet, purple or pink flowers. To six-inches; prefers semi-shade. Rosemarinus officinalis Rosemary. Upright or prostrate, evergreen aromatic plants with needle-like leaves. Blooms early spring through late summer. Drought resistant. Salvia millifera Black Sage. Deep green-leaved groundcover sage to about two-feet wide and one-foot high. Aromatic, pebbly leaves with small, white flowers bees love; late spring. Salvia „Bees Bliss‟ Cross between Salvia sonomensis and another. Groundcover-like with gray leaves to about ten-inches high. Small,white to light blue flowers late spring. Sedum spectabile Sedum. A perennial succulent to two-feet or less that dies to the ground each winter. Has rounded leaves and large umbels of pink to dark pink flowers in fall. Scabiosa columbaria or caucasica Pincushion Flower. Clump-forming perennial with spikes of pincushion flowers in shades of blue or white held above the foliage to about 18-inches. Mid-summer bloomer. Needs sun, good drainage. Scabiosa ochroleuca. Pale yellow scabiosa flowers on 1-2 „ carefree stems and blue/green foliage. Very easy and floriferous. Avg/low water and sun. Solidago californica Goldenrod. Late blooming perennial with wispy, bright yellow panicle blooms to about two to three-feet. Can be slightly invasive. Silphium lancinata Compass Plant. Tall, erect to sprawling; to five-feet; perennial from the prairie that has multiple corymbs of daisy-like yellow flower heads in late summer. Thymus Thyme: German Winter, lemon creeping, caraway creeping. Many varieties, some tiny, dense, rounded shrubs to one-foot, others creeping. Some not long lived. Most have aromatic leaves in various scents blooming late spring. Thymus vulgaris „Dot Wells‟. Common thyme to 1x2 with mauve flowers in late spring/early summer. Dependable. Needs good drainage. Sun. Teucrium cussini. Mediterranean groundcover to six-inches high and three to four-feet wide. Delicate gray leaves topped with mauve flowers in late spring. Very fragrant. Great plant. Teucrium chamaedrys Wall Germander. Evergreen perennial to 1 ½-feet with glossy, small leaves and mauve to deep purple flowers. Can be cut back in winter; blooms summer. Verbascum „Banana and Custard‟. 2-4 spikes of pale yellow flowers from a basel rosette of leaves in midsummer. Easy. Cut back flower spikes to ground after flowering. Verbascum phoenicium „Rosetta‟. Easy verbascum with pink/purple flower spikes from a basal rosette to 2-3 feet. Cut flowers back for rebloom. Verbascum olympicum. Biennial that has a striking rosette of silvery, felt-like leaves the first year, than a spike of bright yellow flowers to four to five-feet the second year. Reseeds nicely. Shrubs Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree. Evergreen shrub to eight-feet with coarse, deep green leaves and muscular, deep brown exfoliating bark. Blooms January/February. Baccharis pilularis Coyote bush. Upright; forms to six-feet, prostrate forms to two feet. Nondescript evergreen, dense shrub with small, rounded leaves; has white cottony flowers late summer to fall that are very attractive to bees and beneficial insects. Caryopteris incana Bluebeard. Shrub to four-feet with aromatic, ovate gray leaves to three-inches long and bright blue/violet fuzzy flowers in rounded cymes. Fall blooming. Caryopteris clandonensis cultivars. Gray leaved, small shrub to three-feet with lance shaped leaves and dark blue flowers. Blooms late summer. “Dark Knight,‟ „Blue Mist‟ and other cultivars good. Ceanothus „Glorie de Versailles. 4X6 hybrid deciduous Ceanothus (Ceanothus x delileanus) with pale blue, fragrant blooms mid-summer and broad, oval leaves. Likes moderate moisture, well drained soil. Ceanothus gloriosus „Anchor Bay‟. Low, creeping California lilac from coastal bluffs and pine forest of Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Has leathery, distinctly toothed leaves. Good, garden tolerant selection to 3‟ with deep, blue flowers. Spreads to 6 ft Ceanothus gloriosus „Hearts Desire‟. similar to „Anchor Bay‟, but 12 inch high and pale blue flowers. Not as floriferous. Ceanothus hearstiorum. California lilac from Hearst castle area on central coast. 6‟‟ to 1‟ high and 6 plus ft spread. Narrow leaves have crinkled texture. Low water use. Dendromecon hartfordiii Island Bush Poppy. Evergreen shrub to six-feet with glaucus, lance shaped leaves and gold, poppy flowers. Spring to autumn blooming. Echium fatuosum Pride of Madiera. Four by six to six by ten-feet. Evergreen gray shrub covered with broad spikes of blue flowers in spring; smaller flowers the rest of the year. Echium candicans. Echium from canary islands with white spikes of flowers. From Annies Annuals. Escallonia rubra, From Chile and Argentina. Some small cultivars. Vigorous, evergreen shrub with deep brown exfoliating bark and glossy, small sticky leaves with deep pink panicles of flowers. Species grows to one-foot; some small cultivars, “pygmea‟ or „Woodside‟ to three-feet. Blooms summer to late summer. Ceanothus „Gloire de Versialles‟ Big plumes of light blue flowers in summer/fall. To about five-feet. Hybrid. Crategus laevigata English Hawthorn. Thorny, rounded, deciduous tree with small, ovate leaves to 25-feet. Has white, scented corymbs flower heads followed by red fruit that birds love; late spring blooming. Cercocarpus montanus Mountain Mahogany. Evergreen shrub with brown bark and coarsely toothed, leathery, mid-green leaves, woolly below. To nine-feet; blooms late spring; ivory to white flowers. Prunus ilicifolia Holly. Leaved Cherry Compact small tree to 20-feet, with wavy, shiny lance shaped to ovate leaves; white flowers borne in showy racemes three-inches long. Blooms midsummer. Rhamnus californica Coffeeberry. Dense, evergreen shrub to eight-feet with dull green oval leaves and small gold flowers; late spring/early summer; insects love. Rose „Mermaid‟. Huge, vigorous climber with large single, pale yellow flowers; bees love. Has large thorns. Rosa Rugosa „Hansa.‟ Deciduous rose with rugose, or leathery, deep green leaves and pastel or deep magenta fragrant flowers, followed by colorful hips. From four-feet to six-feet, depending on the cultivar. Very disease resistant, handsome rose. Blooms late spring to fall depending on variety. Rosa chinensis mutabilis Rose. to 8-10 feet with single flowers that open apricot and fade to burgundy. Blooms all summer, Great. Disease resistant. Rosa gentiliana from 1907. Large white flowers in immense clusters, scented of fruit and spice, grows very tall, easily climbing into trees. Rose 'Oriole.‟ Small, soft yellow, cupped blooms fading to creamy yellow. Sweet, fruity fragrance, and shining, bright green foliage. Rose „ Kathleen‟ Hy Musk. Single white blooms with a blush of pink, with slightly parted petals. The musky scent and bright autumn hips. Rosa alba „Fioliacea.‟ A tall arching shrub with smooth stems, widely spaced thorns, very glaucous foliage, and semi-double white flowers opening from pink buds. Vines Clematis lasiantha Chaparral Clematis. Creamy flowers in large clusters April and May; drought resistant. Clematis ligusticifolia Virgins Bower. Vigorous climber with large clusters of small, creamy flowers to 15-feet; looms spring to fall. Clematis paniculata Sweet Autumn Clematis. Vigorous vine with billowing masses of fragrant white, one-inch wide blooms. Polygonum aubertii Silver Lace Vine. Large, fast growing, vigorous vine to 20-feet or more with frothy white flowers in a mass.
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