Gardening to encourage pollinators allows us to understand and appreciate a part of nature we usually don't notice: the insects. Once you start paying attention, you will find a whole world that is even more complex, fascinating and important than you may have realized. Through simply looking for food, thousands of species of insects (and animals) help plants to reproduce. It has been estimated that roughly 90% of the flowering plants worldwide require an insect or animal to distribute their pollen in order to set fruit and seed. That includes one-third of all crops grown for people, including citrus fruits, almonds, berries, squash and cotton.
Most people know that bees are important pollinators, but that=s not all. Many species of butterflies, bats, birds, moths, flies, wasps, and even mammals are also pollinators. They are so essential to reproduction that much of the world's plant life could not exist without them. Would you like to attract pollinating insects onto your land? Many of these insects are tiny and need very small flowers. Review this fact sheet for the plants, shrubs and trees that will do the best job.
- Corneliancherry dogwood - Cornus mas
- Red Maple - Acer Rubrum
- Mt. Pieris - Pieris floribunda
- Winter-fragrant honeysuckle - Lonicera fragrantissima
- Virginia bluebells - Mertensia virginica
- Alternate leaf dogwood - Cornus alternifolia
- American Holly - Ilex opaca
- Crabapple - Malus spp.
- Serviceberry - Amelanchier laevis
- Tupelo - Nyssa sylvatica
- Bearberry - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
- Blueberry - Vaccinium corymbosum
- Fothergilla - Fothergilla major, F. gardenii
- Inkberry - Ilex glabra
- Red-veined Enkianthus - Enkianthus campanulatus
- Shadbush - Amelanchier canadensis
- Raspberry - Rubus varieties
- Redbud - Cercis canadensis
- Winterberry - Ilex verticillata
- 'May Night' salvia - Salvia 'May Night'
- Chives - Allium schoenoprasum
- Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis, Aquilegia hybrids
- Hardy geranium - Geranium spp.
- Mountain bluet - Centaurea montana
- Ornamental Onions - Allium, various species
- Moss phlox - Phlox subulata
- Woodland phlox - Phlox divaricata
- American linden - Tilia americana
- Tulip tree - Liriodendron tulipifera
- Yellowwood - Cladrastis kentuckea
- Smooth Hydrangea - Hydrangea arborescens
- Beebalm - Monarda didyma
- Bellflower - Campanula spp.
- Borage - Borago officinalis
- Catmint - Nepeta spp.
- Mountain mint - Monarda punctata
- Foxglove - Digitalis spp.
- Pincushion Flower - Scabiosa caucasica
- Queen Anne's Lace
- Stoke's Aster - Stokesia laevis
- Thyme - Thymus spp.
- Yarrow - Achillea spp.
- Goldenrain tree - Koelreuteria paniculata
- Sourwood - Oxydendrum arboreum
- Sweet Pepperbush - Clethra alnifolia
- Ninebark - Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo', 'Summer Wine'
- Panicle hydrangea - Hydrangea paniculata
- Shining sumac - Rhus coppalina
- Butterfly bush - Buddleia davidii
- Black eye Susan - Rudbeckia spp.
- Butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberose
- Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
- Coreopsis - Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata, C. verticillata
- False sunflower - Heliopsis 'Summer Sun'
- Gayfeather - Liatris spicata
- Globe thistle - Echinops ritro
- Anise hyssop - Agastaches spp.
- Swamp milkweed - Asclepias incarnate
- Verbena bonariensis
- Blue mist shrub - Caryopteris x clandonensis
- Chaste tree- Vitex spp.
- Glossy abelia - Abelia grandiflora
- 'Autumn Joy' Sedium - Sedum spp.
- Sneezewood - Helenium autumnale
- Seven-son flower - Heptacodium miconioides
- Golden rod - Solidago spp.
- New York ironweed - Veronia novaboracensis
- Witch hazel - Hamamelis virginiana
- Asters - Aster spp. 'Sheffield Pink' Chrysanthemum
- Nippon daisy - Chrysanthemum nipponicum