Another Bee Site

Above, California poppy is one of the plants recommended at the Urban Bee Garden site. California poppy is native in California and can be grown easily from seed in many other parts of North America. It will grow in extremely poor soil, in fact is good for naturalizing along a roadside. But it does seem to need a lot of sun. Like Cosmos, which also is recommended for pollinators and is easy to grow from seed, it tends to reseed itself from year to year.

WHILE I WAS WORKING ON PART II of my history of native plants and gardening, among the sites that googled up was Urban Bee Garden: A Practical Guide to Introducing the World's Most Prolific Pollinators to Your Garden, sponsored by the Urban Bee Project at the University of California, Berkeley. The site includes a good overview of bee gardening and two lists of bee plants. The short list of easy-to grow plants includes these favorites of mine, which will grow almost anywhere: sunflowers, cosmos, California poppy, pincushion flower, penstemons (need sun and good drainage), lavender (not all varieties are equally hardy), lamb's ear, Coreopsis, buckwheat (good cover crop), catnip, and borage. For those who want to dig deeper (so to speak), the site also offers a nine-page .pdf file containing details on both native and nonnative plants and their appeal to honeybees and California bees.


jodi said...

California poppies are one of my favourites...and now they come in some interesting new colours, too. Thanks for the link on the pollinator plants!

Wild Flora said...

Thanks for the comment, Jodi. At the risk (make that a certainty!) of being a wet blanket, I'll mention that hybrids and cultivars of native plants (such as the new colors of California poppy)can't be counted on to benefit pollinators the way the "species" form does. Of course, if you plant them and then observe bees and other pollinators visiting them regularly, you can be pretty sure that they're as useful as the original versions.