Pollinator Conservation Resources – California

The pollinator resources found on this page support habitat restoration in California.

View all the regions in North America for other pollinator resources.

Click here to access national resources for the US and Canada including:

  • •  Conservation guides and fact sheets for farms, gardens, parks and natural areas
  • •  Information on native bee nests
  • •  Pollinator plant lists
  • •  Pesticide guides
  • •  Bee identification and monitoring resources

For questions, comments, or to suggest additional content, please email pollinators@xerces.org.

Recommended Pollinator Plants

Pollinator Plants: California (The Xerces Society: fact sheet)
Recommended native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators such as native bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds, and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, on business and school campuses, in urban greenspaces, and in farm field borders.

Native Plant Profiles and Lists (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: web site resource)
The Xerces Society has collaborated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to create plant lists that are attractive to native bees, bumble bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects, as well as plant lists with value as nesting materials for native bees. These lists can be narrowed down with additional criteria such as state, soil moisture, bloom time, and sunlight requirements.

Regional Milkweed Guides A series of regional guides to the native milkweeds of North America, developed in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Monarch Nectar Plant Guides While native milkweed is critical to support of monarch breeding, these regional guides were created to address a need for evidence-based, monarch-specific nectar plants throughout the U.S. These guides were developed in partnership with the Monarch Joint Venture and National Wildlife Federation and are geared toward gardeners and landscape designers but are also be useful for land managers who are implementing large-scale monarch restoration projects.

Conservation Guides

Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Installation Guides (The Xerces Society: conservation guides)
These regional guidelines provide in-depth practical guidance on how to install nectar and pollen habitat for bees in the form of wildflower meadow plantings or linear rows of native flowering shrubs.

327A Conservation Cover, Pollinators: Central Valley, Central Coast, Southern California

422A Hedgerow Planting, Pollinators: Central Valley, Central Coast, Southern California

Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: Sierra Foothills Region

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

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

Recommended Plants for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects: Southern California

California Pollinator Plants: Native Milkweeds (USDA-NRCS: technical note)
This guide profiles the common milkweeds of California, describes their wildlife value, and provides guidance on incorporating milkweeds into Farm Bill conservation programs.

Pollinator Biology and Habitat in California (USDA-NRCS: technical note)
An in-depth guide to native bee ecology and conservation for natural areas and farms in California. A list of regionally appropriate plant species for habitat restoration is on pages 43-53.

Yolo Natural Heritage Program (NCP/NCCP) Pollinator Conservation Strategy (Yolo NHP & The Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
Written by Xerces Society scientists, this first-of-its-kind conservation strategy summarizes the threats facing native bees and identifies conservation measures that can be taken within the diverse landscapes, including agriculture, grasslands, woodlands, shrubland, riparian, and urban.

Urban Bee Gardens (University of California Berkeley: web site resource)
This web site provides background information on native bees in urban areas and how to enhance gardens with bee plants.

Protecting California’s Butterfly Groves (The Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
The guidelines provide an overview of the biology and conservation of western monarchs; step-by-step guidance for developing a site-specific management plan, and overall guidance on topics including tree management, shrub and forb management, and visitor and public access issues. The document also includes a list of monarch-attractive native nectar plants suitable for coastal areas.

Monarch Habitat Handbook (The Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
A California Landowner’s Guide to Managing Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Habitat.

A Quick Guide to Monarch Habitat on Farms in California’s Central Valley (The Xerces Society: conservation guidelines)
This guide provides information for farmers in the Central Valley interested in adding monarch habitat to their land.

Native Pollinator Plant Nurseries and Seed Companies

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes
The Xerces Society works with leading wildflower seed producers in multiple regions of the U.S. to develop custom native seed mixes that feature the best pollen and nectar plants available. Local ecotype, source-identified seed that is not treated with pesticides is used wherever possible. Large volume mixes are available at wholesale pricing to help offset the costs of native plant restoration.

The Acorn Cap, Corona, CA
The Acorn Cap offers plants native to the California Floristic Province, on a wholesale basis.

Bay Natives, San Francisco, CA
Bay Natives carries rare and endemic Bay Area native plants plus many species from across the state of California.

The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship, Windsor, CA
The Center’s Native Plant Nursery propagates containerized California native plants and drought tolerant plants.

Central Coast Wilds, Santa Cruz, CA
Central Coast Wilds nursery specializes in native plants throughout the Monterey and San Francisco bay areas, wholesale.

Cornflower Farms, Elk Grove, CA
Cornflower Farms offers California native grasses, wildflowers and aquatic plants.

El Nativo Growers, Inc. , Azusa, CA
El Nativo Growers, Inc. sells groundcovers, shrubs, trees, perennials and grass. Wholesale only.

Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery, Moss Landing, CA
Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery provides California native plants and seeds, wholesale and retail.

Far West Bulb Farm, Grass Valley, CA
Far West is a mail-order nursery that provides flower bulbs native to north and central California.

Freshwater Farms/North Coast Native Seed Bank, Eureka, CA
Freshwater Farms has California native site-specific wetland and riparian plants and plants and seeds of rushes, sedges, coastal dune, and riparian trees.

Grow Native Nursery, Claremont and Los Angeles, CA
Grow Native Nursery offers native California plants, advice from expert staff, and water-wise solutions for home landscapes.

Hedgerow Farms, Winters, CA
Offers Xerces-reviewed seed mixes for pollinator conservation projects.
Hedgerow Farms specializes in seed of California native grasses, sedges, rushes and forbs, and also sells plug plants.

High Ranch Nursery, Loomis, CA
High Ranch is a wholesale nursery providing plants to northern California and the Bay Area.

Intermountain Nursery, Prather, CA
Intermountain Nursery offers bareroot material of trees native to California.

Larner Seeds, Bolinas, CA
Larner sells wildflower, grass, shrub, and tree seed native to California.

Las Pilitas Nursery, Escondido, CA and Santa Margarita, CA
Las Pilitas Nursery offers a diverse selection of plant material of California native trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs.

Middlebrook Gardens Nursery, San Jose, CA
Middlebrook Gardens Native Plant Nursery provides native plants from California plant communities.

Moosa Creek Nursery, Valley Center, CA
Moosa Creek is a wholesale nursery that specializes in California native plants.

Mostly Natives Nursery, Tomales, CA
Mostly Natives provides native and drought-tolerant plants suitable for the northern California climate.

Native Here Nursery, Berkeley, CA
Native Here Nursery offers plants that are native to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in California.

Native Revival Nursery, Aptos, CA
Native Revival Nursery provides containerized native California trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and perennials, as well as seeds of Santa Cruz County wildflowers.

Native Sons, Inc. , Arroyo Grande, CA
Native Sons is a wholesale nursery that provides native California perennials, grasses and shrubs as well as flora from other areas with a Mediterranean climate.

Native Springs Nursery, Durham, CA
Native Springs Nursery offers plant material of native plants and trees.

North Coast Native Nursery, Petaluma, CA
North Coast Native is a wholesale and retail nursery offering California native perennials and custom seed collection.

Pacific Coast Seed , Livermore, CA
Pacific Coast Seed offers native grass and wildflower seed for diverse applications including restoration, reclamation, and erosion and sediment control.

Pure Live Seed, Oxnard, CA
Pure Live Seed, LLC is a wholesale company specializing in providing California Native Seeds.

Recon Native Plants, Inc. , San Diego, CA
Recon Native Plants is a wholesale nursery that offers plant species native to the southwestern United States.

S&S Seeds, Carpinteria, CA
Offers Xerces-reviewed seed mixes for pollinator conservation projects.
S&S is a wholesale seed supplier of wildflowers, trees, shrubs, grasses and native plants of California.

San Marcos Growers, Santa Barbara, CA
San Marcos Growers is a wholesale nursery that sells native California plants as well as plants from other Mediterranean climates.

Seedhunt, Freedom, CA
Seedhunt provides seeds of native central California wildflowers.

Sierra Valley Farms, Beckwourth, CA
Sierra Valley Farms offers (retail and wholesale) native high elevation plants native to California and Nevada.

Tarweed Nursery and Landscape, Los Angeles, CA
Tarweed is a retail nursery that offers plants native to Southern California.

Theodore Payne Nursery, Sun Valley, CA
Theodore Payne Nursery sells California native plants in their nursery and native plant seeds and seed mixes online.

Tree of Life Nursery, San Juan Capistrano, CA
Tree of Life is a wholesale and retail nursery which provides California native plant material and also wildflower seed mixes.

Yerba Buena Nursery, Woodside, CA
Yerba Buena Nursery provides a wide variety of plants native to California.

Bee Identification and Monitoring Resources

California Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide (The Xerces Society: instructional handbook)
An instructional handbook for native bee survey efforts, used in the Xerces Society’s California Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Course. The handbook assists users in identifying native bees to broad morphological categories for assessing general pollinator abundance and diversity.

California Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Pocket Guide (The Xerces Society: field ID guide)
A pocket-sized printable field version of the taxonomic native bee groups described the California Citizen-Scientist Bee Monitoring Guide.

Western Bumble Bee Pocket Identification Guide (The Xerces Society: field ID guide)
A full color print-and-fold guide to the Western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), a formerly common species believed to be in decline. Includes images of similar looking species.

Bumble bees of the Western United States (USDA Forest Service: field ID guide)
This field guide was produced by the USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership. The Guide covers the most commonly encountered bumble bees of the Western United States. Each bee species has information on preferred food plants, nesting biology, seasonal activity patterns, identification guidelines, and distribution maps.


Policy Analysis Paper: Policy Mainstreaming of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services with a Focus on Pollination (Berkeley Food Institute)
The Berkeley Food Institute collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to author this publication. It considers the mainstreaming of ecosystem services at both national and international levels, with a focus on pollination services. Following work undertaken through the GEF/UNEP/FAO Global Pollination Project, and through funding from the Norwegian Environment Agency, this publication addresses the interface between science and policy as a contribution to the work of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Supporting the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
This set of guidelines, released as a follow-up to the President’s Memorandum on pollinator health, is a supplement to older guidance on sustainable management of landscapes. The guidance will help Federal agencies incorporate pollinator friendly practices into new federal construction and landscaping projects. Click here to download the guidelines, or read more at WhiteHouse.gov.


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Pollinator Conservation Resource Center

The Resource Center is where you can find regional information about plant lists, habitat conservation guides, and more. Learn more.

Pollinator Conservation Seed Mixes

Our partners in the native seed industry are offering specially designed, Xerces-approved wildflower seed mixes. Learn more.

Plant Milkweed Seed!

Milkweeds support monarch butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. Search for sources of milkweed seed now!

long horned bee (Melissodes sp.) on sunflower by Mace Vaughan