• Valerie Just

Honey Bee Plants

Resource: Nebraska Extension Bee Lab


As you start your fall gardening, here is a good list of native plants that will help our pollinators! Note the scientific name - it's important you are buying native!


Honey Bee Plant List

Below are some of your less known plants that support honey bees. Many of these flowers will benefit native and honey bees, and this list is not all inclusive, as there are thousands of different species of flowering plants that grow in Nebraska! This list emphasizes feeding the Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) but will also benefit wild bees. Remember it is important to plant a variety of species with overlapping bloom times, flower shapes and plant height, this will ensure that bees have food year-round.

Agricultural Crops:

  • Alfalfa

  • Cover Crops (vetch & clovers)

  • Fruit Trees (apples, peaches, plums, cherries, pears)

  • Melons and cucumbers

  • Squash and pumpkins

  • Berries (raspberry, blackberry, strawberries)

  • Sunflowers

  • Field Peas

  • Soybeans

  • Dry Beans

Lawn Plants (all seasons):

  • Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)

  • Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

  • Lance Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris spp. lanceolata)

  • White Dutch Clover (Trifolum repens)

SPRING BLOOMERS Garden Plants

  • Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

  • Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)

  • Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

  • Winged Lythrum (Lythrum alatum)

Woody Plants

  • Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

  • Box Elder (Acer negundo)

  • Currants (Ribes aureum, americanum, odoratum)

  • Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

  • Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

  • Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

  • Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

  • Prairie Crabapple (Malus ioensis)

  • Standing Sweet Pea (Robinia hispida)

  • Wild Plum (Prunus Americana)

  • Willow (Salix spp)

SUMMER BLOOMERS Garden Plants

  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

  • Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

  • Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

  • Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium)

  • Milkvetch (Astragalus spp)

  • Milkweeds (Asclepias spp)

  • Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum spp)

  • Purple Giant Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia)

  • Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)

  • Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Cleome serrulata)

  • White Prairie Clover (Dalea candida)

  • Wild Golden Glow (Rudbeckia laciniata)

  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium var occidentalis)

  • Yellow Bee Plant (Cleome lutea)

Woody Plants

  • American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

  • Linden (Tillia spp)

  • Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)

  • Sandcherry (Prunus pumila)

  • Sumac (Rhus spp)

AUTUMN BLOOMERS Garden Plants

  • Asters (Symphyotrichum spp)

  • Autumn Fire Sedum (Sedum “Autumn Fire”)

  • Cowpen Daisy (Verbesina enceliodes)

  • Culvers Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)

  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp)

  • Indian Blanket (Gaillardia spp)

  • Maximilian Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)

  • Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)

  • Smartweed (Polygonum spp)

  • Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)

  • Sunflower (Helianthus spp)

  • Wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia)

Woody Plants

  • Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

  • Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)


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