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Garden Plan to Attract 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.

Bloom Period Common Name Scientific Name Color Height
EARLY Lanceleaf Coreopsis Coreopsis Lancelata Yellow 3 feet
Smooth Penstemon Penstemon digitalis White 3 feet
Lupine lupinis perennis Blue 3 feet
Shooting Star Dodecatheon meadia Pink, white, Violet 2 feet
MID Butterflyweed Ascelepias tuberosa Orange 2 feet
Dotted mint Monarda punctata Purple 2 feet
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica Blue 3 feet
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Purple 4 feet
Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum virginianum White 3 feet
Bergamot Mondarda fistulosa Purple 4 feet
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Yellow 3 feet
MID-LATE Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum Yellow 9 feet
Prairie Blazing Star Liatris pycnostachya Purple 6 feet
Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yucciforium White 4 feet
Lavender Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Purple 6 feet
Dogtooth Daisy Helenium autumnale Yellow 5 feet
Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea Purple 2 feet
Sweet Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium purpureum Pink 7 feet
Wingstem Verbesina alternifolia Yellow 6 feet
LATE Closed Bottle Gentian Gentiana andrewsii Blue 2 feet
Calico Aster Symphyotrichum lateriflorium White 2 feet
Field thistle Cirsium discolor Purple 6 feet
New England Aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae Purple 6 feet
Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa Yellow 5 feet