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Garden Plan to Attract Wisconsin Native Bees

This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited to small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces and farm field borders. These plants are particularly attractive to native bees and honey bees.

In planning your garden, be sure to have something blooming all season so there is always a food source for bees. Dandelions and clover provide early sources for bees if you don’t mind having them in your greenspace.

See the KEY at the bottom for details on the 'Soil' and 'Moisture' codes.

Bloom Common Name Scientific Name Color Height Light Soil Moisture
EARLY Black Cherry Tree Elymus virginicus White 50-80' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L M
Downy Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea White 15-25' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L M
Lanceleaf Coreopsis Coreopsis Lancelata Yellow 3' Full sun icon L,S D,M
Lupine Lupinis perennis Blue 3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon S D
Pussy Willow Tree Salix discolor White 10-20' Full sun icon L,S,C O,W
Smooth Penstemon Penstemon digitalis White 3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C S M,O
Shooting Star Dodecatheon meadia Pink, Violet 2' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S D
MID Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca Purple 2-4' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D, M
False Indigo Baptisia australis Blue 3-5' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D,M
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica Blue 1-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C M,O
Leadplant Amorpha canescens Purple 2-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S D,M
Pale Purple Coneflower Echinacea pallida Purple 3-5' Full sun icon D,M L,C, S
Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Red, Pink 3-5' Full sun icon L,S,C M,O
Wild Blue Phlox Phlox divaricata Blue 1-2' Partial sun icon Shade icon L,C,S M,O
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum Lavender 1-2' Full sun icon Partial sun icon Shade icon L,S D,M
MID-LATE Bergamot Mondarda fistulosa Purple 4' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D,M,O
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Yellow 3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S,C D,M,O
Butterflyweed Ascelepias tuberosa Orange 2-3' Full sun icon L,S D,M
Cupplant Silphium perfoliatum Yellow 5-10' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S M,O,W
Dogtooth Daisy Helenium autumnale Yellow 4-5' Full sun icon L,C,S O,W
Spotted Beebalm Monarda punctata Purple 1-2' Full sun icon S,R D
Lavender Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Purple 1-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,S D,M
Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya Purple 3-5' Full sun icon L,S,C M,O
Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea Purple 1-2' Full sun icon L,C,S D,M
Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yucciforium White 4' Full sun icon L, S D,M
Sweet Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium purpureum Pink 7' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S D,M
Wingstem Verbesina alternifolia Yellow 6' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L M
LATE Closed Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii Blue 2' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S O,W
Calico Aster Symphyotrichum lateriflorium White 2-3' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S M,O
Field thistle Cirsium discolor Purple 6' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L D,M
New England Aster Symphyotrichum
novae-angliae
Purple 6' Full sun icon Partial sun icon L,C,S M,O
Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa Yellow 5' Full sun icon L,S D,M

SOIL:   L = Loam       C = Clay       S = Sandy       R = Rocky
MOISTURE:   D = Dry       M = Medium       O = Moist       W = Wet 

Bees flying footer graphic