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Pollinator Plant Series: Part 3


buttonbush

Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
Native Shrub
Light: shade to part shade
Soil: moist to wet
Height: up to 12 feet
Bloom Time: June-August
Flowers: White, Pink
Which bees love it most?
Buttonbush is one of few native shrubs that provides mid-summer blooms and grows well in wet shady spaces. It’s puffball-shaped flowers are extremely attractive to bumblebees, and many large butterflies and hummingbird moths also love this shrub. In addition, it is a host plant for some of the largest and showiest moths in North America, namely the titan sphinx, hydrangea sphinx, and the royal walnut moth.
Human Uses: The interesting flowers and foliage of the buttonbush make it a great ornamental addition to hedgerows, reforestation (particularly wetland) and shade gardens, and farm buffers.


catnipCatnip, Nepeta Spp.
Light: sun
Soil: average to dry
Height: 2 feet
Bloom Time: May-August
Flowers: White, Blueish-purple
Which bees love it most?
Catnip attracts honeybees and bumblebees.
The tiny blossoms only produce a small amount of nectar, but it can usually provide a reliable source of nectar for several months. 
Human Uses: Flowers and leaves are both edible as catnip belongs in the mint family, and therefore has some herbal and medicinal uses. Cats love it too, so plant a bit extra if you have an outdoor cat or harvest a small amount for your indoor cat! This plant is deer resistant, and when planted in large masses can result in a slightly spicy honey.


cherryCherry, Prunus spp.
Fruit Tree/Shrub, Native & Non-Native
Light: sun
Soil: average
Height: 2 feet
Bloom Time: May
Flowers: Pink, White
Which bees love it most?
Cherry trees and shrubs are a great early nectar source for many pollinators, including mason bees, mining bees, honeybees as well as butterflies and moths.
Human Uses: Cherry trees or shrubs are a great addition to a backyard orchard, as the cherries can be used in a wide range of delightful recipes from jams to pies, not to mention fresh eating. When using in a hedgerow, take caution that Prunus species’ leaves, branches and seeds are often toxic to livestock.


coreopsisCoreopsis, Coreopsis Spp.
Native, Annual or Perennial depending on species.
Light: sun
Soil: average to dry
Height: 2 feet
Bloom Time: June-August
Flowers: Yellow, Orange, Red
Which bees love it most?
Coreopsis are a showy summer blossom that act as a workhorse plant, attracting a moderate number of pollinators to prairie/wildflower restoration spaces. In particular, Coreopsis is attractive to small sweat bees, native sunflower bees, long-horned bees, and hover flies. Coreopsis does not attract honeybees or bumblebees, and very few butterflies.
Human Uses: Coreopsis are a beneficial addition to pollinator mixes due to their low cost, easy establishment and tolerance for poor soil where other plants struggle. It makes a good restoration plant for wildflower meadows and pastures, but it does not reseed well nor compete well with perennials, so be aware of this when planning.

And this is all for now. Come out and visit our pollinator gardens on the bee farm to see bumbles, butterflies and honeybees!


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