Recommended Pollinator Plants for California

Pollinator Plants: California (General)

Pollinator Plants: California

Providing wildflower-rich habitat is the most significant action you can take to support pollinators. Adult bees, butterflies, and other pollinators require nectar as their primary food source, and female bees collect pollen as food for their offspring. Native plants, which are adapted to local soils and climates, are usually the best sources of nectar and pollen for native pollinators. Incorporating native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees into any landscape promotes local biological diversity and provides shelter and food for a diversity of wildlife. Most natives require minimal irrigation, flourish without fertilizers, and are unlikely to become weedy.

This fact sheet features California natives that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, urban greenspaces, and farm field borders, and on business and school campuses.

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Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Regional Guides

The plants on these region-specific lists are recommended for use in pollinator habitat restoration and enhancement projects in agricultural landscapes in different areas of California. These species have been selected because they are attractive to a diversity of different bee species, and provide pollen and nectar resources throughout the season, provided that a minimum of three different plant species from each blooming period (early, mid, and late season) are selected. A majority of plants recommended are native, drought tolerant, easy to establish, and don’t serve as alternate hosts to crop pests or diseases.

Scroll down to find the guide suited to your region!

Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Central Valley RegionRecommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Central Valley Region

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Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Sierra Foothills Region

Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Sierra Foothills Region

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Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Central Coast RegionRecommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: California Central Coast Region

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Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: Southern California RegionRecommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: Southern California Region

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Please visit our Pollinator Conservation Resource Center for more materials on conservation measures you can implement in California and beyond!

Learn more about the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program.