Plants for Pollinators

Native Pollinators

Pollinators are the organisms that aid flowers in sexual propagation. They include insects, moths, and even bats in some places. Many of our crops such as blueberries rely on honeybees for an ample crop, and new programs using native pollinators such as mason bees are also in production. This pollination service is undertaken by these willing creatures in exchange for the high caloric nectar or pollen produced by the flowers.

Plantings that provide food or shelter for pollinators will bring them to your home. Always try to use native species as much as possible - they provide the most value and are much more likely to be used by our native pollinators.

Nectar Sources - Flowers

Clarkia amoena, Farewell-to-spring.

Pearly Everlasting - Anaphalis margaritacea

Aster species - Aster chilensis, A. subspicatum

Red Columbine - Aquilegia formosa

Camas spp.- Camassia quamash, C. leitchtlinii

Paintbrush - Catillejia hispidula, C. miniata

Fireweed - Epilobium angustifolium

Strawberry spp. - Fragaria chiloensis, F. vesca

Coral bells - Heuchera micrantha

Farewell-to-spring - Clarkia amoena

eriophyllum lanatum, Wooly Sunflower.

Blanketflower - Gaillardia aristata

Menzie's Delphinium - Delphinium menziesii

Nodding Onion - Allium cerrnuum

Lupin - Lupinus polyphyllus

Paintbrush - Catillejia hispidula, C. miniata.

Penstemon - Penstemon spp.

Spreading phlox - Phlox diffusa.

Goatsbeard - Aruncus diocusa

Goldenrod - Solidago lepida Monarda fistulosa, Beebalm

Henderson's checkermallow - Sidelcea hendersonii

Monkeyflower - Mimulus guttatus, M. lewisii

Sedum spp. - Sedum spathulifolium, S. oreganum, S. lanceolatum

Violet spp. - Viola adunca, V. glabella, V. praemorsa

Western Yarrow - Achillea millifolium

Wooly Sunflower. - Eriophyllum lanatum

Remember to choose flowers with many flower heads and numerous small florets, such as Yarrow and Wooly Sunflower. Many pollinators, including butterflies, can perch on these flowers and drink the sweet nectar. Also include late season bloomers such as Aster and Goldenrod, to ensure something is in bloom in every season.

Nectar Sources - Trees and Shrubs

Although they can be overlooked because they are largely used as frames for the garden design, trees and shrubs can bring in native pollinators quickly. Because of their larger size, many creatures can use them for habitat. Also, they can often produce much more nectar for pollinators than say, a lone flower could on a garden plant. It is not common to think that there are no pollinators around, when all you have is to look up and find your flowering tree abuuz with bees and other good pollinators above.

Conifers are good plants to attract pollinators.

Vine Mape - Acer circinatum

Bittercherry - Prunus emarginata

Chokecherry - Prunus virginiana

Black Hawthorne - Crataegus douglasii

Pacific crabapple- Malus fusca

Arctostaphylos - (Manzanita, Kinnikinnik)

Oregon Grape - Mahonia aquilifolium, M. nervosa

Mock Orange - Philadelphus lewisii

Currants - Ribes sanguineum

Rhododendrons - Rhododendron macrophyllum, R. occidentale

Shrubs are great pollinator plants!

Rubus spp. (Salmonberry, Thimbleberry) - Rubus spectabilis, R. parviflorus

Elderberry - Sambucus cerulea, S. racemosa

Spirea - Spirea douglasii

Vaccinium species (huckleberry) - Vaccinium ovatum, V. ovalifolium, V. alaskense

Willows - Salix spp.

Butterflies and their Larval Food Plants

In order to really help butterfly populations in B.C., we need to provide plants that provide food for the larval stages. Many species will only accept one or a few species of plants at this stage. If a butterfly is found near your area, you can probably increase its population by planting the correct foodplants for the caterpillars. And of course, stay away from pesticides and insecticide!

Species                    Native Food Plant the Caterpillar Needs

Monarch - Milkweed (A. speciosa in our region)

Propertius Duskywing - Garry Oak

Two-banded Checkered Skipper -Strawberry spp., Silverweed

Woodland Skipper - Native Grasses

Clodius Apollo (*possibly no longer present) - Western Bleeding Heart

Anise Swallowtail - Carrot Family

Western Tiger Swallowtail -Alders, Willows, Poplars, Maples (Vine, Big Leaf Maple)

Pine White - Douglas Fir

Sara Orangetip - Mustard spp.

Cedar Hairstreak - Western Red Cedar

Brown Elfin - Arctostaphylos, Arbutus, Salal, Oregon Grape, Huckleberry

Moss' Elfin - Sedum

Western Spring Azure - Oceanspray, Dogwood, Hardhack

Satyr Anglewing - Stinging Nettle

Mourning Cloak - Willows, Poplars, Spirea

Milbert's Tortoiseshell - Stinging Nettle

Painted Lady - Thistles

Westcoast Lady - Stinging Nettle Stinging Nettle is a host for 5 different butterfly species

Red Admiral - Stinging Nettle

Myiltta Crescent - Thistles

Lorquin's Admiral - Oceanspray, Serviceberry

Common Ringlet - Native Grasses

Common Woodnymph -Native Grasses