Honeybee collecting pollen from an Aster flower

Everyone is a beekeeper! Some tips for success when planting for honey bees and beneficial insects:

Choose heirloom varieties – a single flower design allows easy access to quality nectar and pollen.

Cut back your plants for repeat blooms throughout the season.

Let herbs and vegetables bolt – valuable nectar and pollen are found in the flowers.

Plant in drifts – honey bees exhibit flower constancy and like to forage among a single type of flower.

Provide blooms throughout the season for a constant supply of high quality bee forage.

Strive for organic, pesticide free gardening practices – never spray pesticides when bees are foraging.

The following list is a compilation of our favorite plants for pollinators in the Willamette Valley, organized by season of most benefit. Some plants are beneficial for nectar, pollen, or both.

(B) Bulb, (A) Annual, (P) Perennial, (S) Shrub, (T) Tree

*Also great for beneficial insects such as hoverflies, lacewings, ladybugs, parasitic wasps, etc.

Alnus spp. – alder (T)
Anemone spp. – anemone (P)
Corylus americana – hazelnut (S)
Corylus avellana – filbert (T)
Crocus spp. – Crocus (B)
Eranthis hyemalis – winter aconite (B)
Erica spp. – heather (P)
Galanthus spp. – snowdrop (B)
Hamamelis vernalis – witch hazel (S)
Helleborus spp. – hellebore (P)
Helleborus foetidus – hellebore (P)
Iberis spp. – candytuft (P)
Mahonia x media – winter mahonia (S)
Oemleria cerasiformis – Indian plum (S)*
Pieris japonica – Andromeda (S)
Primula spp. – primrose (A/P)
Salix spp. – early willows (S)
Sarcococca hookeriana – sweet box (S)

Abelia x grandiflora – abelia (S)
Achillea millefolium – yarrow (P)*
Agastache foeniculum – anise hyssop (P)*
Alcea rosa – hollyhock (P)
Allium spp. – onions (A)
Alstroemeria spp. – Lily of the Incas (P)
Anaphalis margaritacea – pearly everlasting (P)
Anethum graveolens – dill (A)*
Anthriscus cerefolium – chervil (A)*
Asclepias spp. – milkweed (P)*
Borago officinalis – borage (A)*
Brassica spp. – brassica crops (A)*
Callicarpa dichotoma – beautyberry (P)
Campanula spp. – campanula (P)
Caryopteris x clandonensis – bluebeard
‘Dark Knight’ (S)
Catalpa spp. – catalpa (T)
Centaurea spp. – bachelor button, cornflower
Chrysanthemum x superbum – shasta daisy (P)*
Cladrastis lutea – yellow wood (T)
Clethra spp. – summer sweet (S)
Coriandrum sativum – cilantro (A)*
Crataegus phaenopyrum – hawthorn (P)
Cucurbita spp. – squash (A)*
Echinacea purpurea – echinacea (P)
Erica spp. – heath/heather (S)
Erynginum planum – eryngium (P)
Helianthus annus – sunflower (P)
Hyssop spp. – hyssop (P)
Lavandula spp. – lavender (P)*
Lonicera spp. – honeysuckle (S)
Melissa officianalis – lemon balm (P)*
Mentha spp. – mints (P)
Monarda spp. – bee balm, bergamot (P)
Nepeta spp. – catmint, catnip (P)*
Nepeta mussinii – catmint (P)
Nyssa sylvatica – tupelo (T)
Ocimum basilicum – basil (A)
Origanum vulgare – oregano (P)
Oxydendrum arboreum – sour-wood (S)
Penstemon spp. – penstemon (P)
Perovskia abrotanoides – russian sage (P)*
Phacelia tanacetifolia – phacelia (A)
Pimpinella anisum – anise (A)*
Rosa spp. – single roses (P)
Rosmarinus officinalis – rosemary (P)
Rubus spp. – blackberry (P)
Rudbeckia spp. – coneflower (P)*
Salvia spp. – salvia (P)
Salvia sclarea – clary sage (P)
Sophora japonica – japanese pagoda tree (T)
Spirea spp. – spirea (S)
Symphoricarpos albus – snowberry (S)
Symphytum spp. – comfrey (P)*
Tagetes tenuifolia – marigold, signet (A)
Tanacetum parthenium – feverfew (P)*
Tilia spp. – linden, basswood (T)
Thymus spp. – thyme (P)
Veronica spp. – speedwell (P)
Viburnum spp. – viburnum (S)
Zinnia elegans – zinnia (A)

Abelia spp. – abelia (S)
Aster spp. – aster (P)
Chrysanthemum spp. – chrysanthemum (P)
Crocus spp. – fall crocus (B)
Cosmos bipinnatus – cosmos (P)
Osmanthus spp. – osmanthus (S)
Salvia spp. – fall salvias (P)
Sedum spp. – stonecrop ‘Autumn Joy’ (P)
Solidago spp. – goldenrod (P)*
Teucrium chamaedrys – germander (S)
Tropaeolum majus – nasturtium (A)*

Bellis perennis – lawn daisy (P)*
Fagopyrum esceulentum – buckwheat
Melilotus officinalis – yellow sweet clover (P)*
Phacelia tanacetifolia – phacelia (A)
Prunella vulgaris – heal-all (P)*
Trifolium incarnatum – crimson clover (P)*
Trifolium repens – Dutch white clover (P)*
Vicia villosa – hairy vetch (P)*

Download this information as a PDF here.