native plants


Central Washington pollinator habitat planting - Xerces Society

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – June 2019

Published on June 27, 2019

June’s featured staff share their work with inspiring partners spanning large-scale agriculture, to family farms, to a unique urban agriculture fellowship program. These stories are from all across the country, from central Washington, to Wisconsin, to Virginia.


Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat Sign

Let’s Make Every Week Pollinator Week!

Published on June 23, 2019

Without a doubt, every week is Pollinator Week here at the Xerces Society. Our staff are consistently working with farmers, public land managers, suburban park managers, and gardeners, providing guidance on planning and creating habitat. Here are a variety of ways to support our efforts to conserve these vital invertebrates throughout the year—no matter where you live!


Remember the Ground Nesting Bees when You Make Your Patch of Land Pollinator-Friendly

Published on June 20, 2019

Seventy percent of native bee species in the United States are ground nesting. Providing nesting sites (they are drawn to sunny, bare soil) and reducing or eliminating pesticide use is key to supporting these important pollinators.


Managing Invertebrate-Friendly Gardens

Published on June 19, 2019

Many Xerces Society members create wildlife gardens that are particularly hospitable to invertebrates, and among them are some wonderful examples. I recently spoke with Bert and Betty Feingold, Lenora Larson, and Dennis Krusac and Jacqueline Belwood to find out more about how these dedicated gardeners care for insects in their own backyards.


Planting for Pollinators: Conserving Native Pollinators in Towns and Cities – Milwaukie, OR

Published on June 11, 2019

July 27th, 2019
10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
St. Paul’s Methodist Church
Milwaukie, OR

Join Xerces staff and partners for this workshop that will open a window into the fascinating world of North America’s native bees and butterflies, introduce you to what they need, and examine the threats that make the future daunting for them. You will learn about native bee and other insect natural history, their importance to our environment and food supply, and most importantly, the straightforward steps you can take to create lasting change in our urban landscapes to better support bees and other wildlife in your community.

Click here for more information and to register.


Bee Friendly To Pollinators Day – Greensboro, NC

Published on June 3, 2019

August 17th, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Guilford County Cooperative Extension Demonstration Garden
Greensboro, NC

Join Nancy Adamson, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society, along with Guilford County Master Gardeners and Beekeepers, and a host of other groups for a fun-filled day. There will be activities for kids, food for everyone, and lots of learning about native bees, honey bees, butterflies, and many other pollinators and plants. Find live monarch caterpillars on the common milkweed, and black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars on the fennel, parsley, and dill in the garden! Learn how to make a native Bee&Bee!

Click here for more information.


Monarch and golden soldier beetle on thistle

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – May 2019

Published on May 30, 2019

May’s featured staff share stories of building pollinator habitat that will also support monarchs—one project on a farm in Iowa, and the other in a park in Missouri.


Flowering clover in almond orchard

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – April 2019

Published on April 30, 2019

April’s featured staff are all Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planners, and are spread across the country—driving the adoption of cover cropping in California, guiding blueberry farmers to become more pollinator-friendly in Maine, and raising awareness of the importance of rangeland for pollinator conservation in North Dakota.


How to Support Monarch Butterfly Conservation—During Earth Week and Beyond!

Published on April 27, 2019

Helping the monarch back to full health isn’t going to be easy or quick, but we can’t stand by and do nothing. If we all plant a small patch of milkweed and nectar plants, and all think about how we can change our actions to make things better for monarchs, together we can transform the landscape to allow the monarch to rebound—and give our children the gift of watching orange wings flap in the sunshine.


Garden Gloves & Weeds

Pesticide-Free Gardening Tips for Earth Week and Beyond

Published on April 23, 2019

In a home garden, the Xerces Society urges people to consider non-chemical pest management. To meet this challenge, please consider spending Earth Week in the garden, enjoying the diversity of insects, and taking a few of the actions outlined below to simultaneously minimize pest problems and avoid the use of pesticides.


Bee Better Certified pollinator habitat at Erdman Family Farms

Bee Better Certified Engages the Almond Industry

Published on April 22, 2019

With a robust set of requirements on pesticide use and the highest standards for protecting and restoring pollinator habitat of any food certification, Bee Better Certified represents a new era in biodiversity protection on farms—and what better time to celebrate this program’s growth than during Earth Week?


Earth Week - Xerces Society

Pledge to Bring Back the Pollinators—on Earth Day and Every Day

Published on

During Earth Week 2019, we are asking you to consider taking simple, yet impactful, steps to make the world better for bees, butterflies, and other essential invertebrates.


Connecting the Dots for Pollinator Conservation: Wildflower Meadows and Pollinator Habitat – Durham, NH

Published on April 19, 2019

July 30th, 2019
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Woodman Research Farm
Durham, NH

Join Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Co-Director with the Xerces Society, for this field day at the University of New Hampshire Research Farm. The event will include a presentation by Mace, a research field tour, and updates on the NH Pollinator Plan, the 2019 Bee Bill, cost share programs and other efforts to conserve and protect pollinators at the local, state, and national levels. Mace will discuss the growing number of efforts by which citizens, farmers, gardeners, researchers, and others are banding together to turn around the decline in pollinators. There is no charge for attending this event.

Click here for more information and to register.


Community Scientists Take on the Cultivar Conundrum

Published on April 10, 2019

The Xerces Society’s blog post “Picking Plants for Pollinators: The Cultivar Conundrum” highlighted the lack of research on this topic, which limits our ability to make informed choices regarding the use of cultivars for supporting pollinators and other beneficial insects. To help address this knowledge gap, Budburst launched the Nativars research project in 2018.


Community Scientists Can Help Support Imperiled Western Monarchs

Published on March 12, 2019

We encourage everyone to take some time while hiking in the California coast range, California Central Valley, and the rest of the West, to help researchers by submitting any and all monarch and milkweed observations this year to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper website.


North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University Hedgerow

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – February 2019

Published on February 25, 2019

February’s featured staff member has been working on a hedgerow featuring diverse native species in North Carolina.


Quino checkerspot butterfly

National Butterfly Center Gets Reprieve—But Border Wall Will Impact Much More

Published on February 15, 2019

There are many reasons to oppose the wall along the southern border—including the loss of habitat for some of our smallest and most important animals.


Cedaroak Trillium Garden

Cedaroak Park Primary School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities

Published on February 11, 2019

Being assigned to create an interpretive panel for Cedaroak Park Primary School, where I attended grade school, was a special experience.


Monarch overwintering in California

Record Low Number of Overwintering Monarch Butterflies in California—They Need Your Help!

Published on January 17, 2019

We urge you to join us and our colleagues in the western monarch science and conservation community in taking meaningful, swift action to help save western monarchs.


Xerces Society habitat planting in California's Central Valley

Climate News Round-Up: January 2019

Published on January 3, 2019

Climate change is an unprecedented global challenge. The magnitude of the problem and the consequences of inaction can be overwhelming, but there is still time to act. While the federal government is rolling back some of the progress that has been made in reducing carbon emissions, many cities, states, and businesses around the country remain committed to climate action. We can build on this momentum and support further action.


Rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis)

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – November 2018

Published on December 3, 2018

November’s featured staff hail from Minnesota, Indiana, and California, and have been conducting training and outreach events, helping General Mills to implement their plan to plant 3,300 acres of pollinator habitat, and monitoring farm habitat plantings in the San Joaquin Valley.


Aster

Fall Garden Tips to Benefit Bumble Bees All Year

Published on October 30, 2018

The growing season may be winding down, but fall is an important time to create habitat for bumble bees and other native pollinators. The work you do now will help support overwintering pollinators and support the next generation of bumble bees.


Funastrum cynanchoides

Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – October 2018

Published on October 23, 2018

Select updates from our team of restoration ecologists, entomologists, plant ecologists, and researchers.


From the Field: Trees for Bees

Published on May 15, 2018

Last Friday, I visited Mt. Cuba Center botanical garden in Hockessin, DE to give a presentation. Over the past few years, I have had the honor of being invited to Mt. Cuba to talk about pollinators, beneficial insects, and different steps we can all take to improve habitat for these important animals. Each time I Read more …


‘Weird and Wonderful’ Plants for Pollinators: Pale Indian Plantain

Published on May 11, 2018

In celebration of National Wildflower Week, we’re highlighting some of our favorite “weird and wonderful” plants for pollinators. You can find the best plants for pollinators anytime at xerces.org/plant-lists. Pale Indian Plantain Arnoglossum atriplicifolium (Syn. Cacalia atriplicifolia) Not to be confused with the banana-like vegetable known from Cuban cuisine, nor the common broadleaf “weed” found in Read more …


‘Weird and Wonderful’ Plants for Pollinators: Wild Quinine

Published on May 10, 2018

In celebration of National Wildflower Week, we’re highlighting some of our favorite “weird and wonderful” plants for pollinators. You can find the best plants for pollinators anytime at xerces.org/plant-lists. Wild Quinine Parthenium integrifolium   Also known as wild feverfew, this plant has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans and the U.S. ARMY. Read more …


‘Weird and Wonderful’ Plants for Pollinators: Rattlesnake Master

Published on May 9, 2018

In celebration of National Wildflower Week, we’re highlighting some of our favorite “weird and wonderful” plants for pollinators. You can find the best plants for pollinators anytime at xerces.org/plant-lists. Rattlesnake Master Eryngium yuccifolium   Everything about rattlesnake master is a bit peculiar. The plants grow in the prairies and meadows of the eastern U.S., yet Read more …


‘Weird and Wonderful’ Plants for Pollinators: Prairie Smoke

Published on May 7, 2018

In celebration of National Wildflower Week we’re highlighting some of our favorite “weird and wonderful” plants for pollinators. You can find the best plants for pollinators anytime at xerces.org/plant-lists. Prairie Smoke Geum triflorum Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – but where there’s prairie smoke, there are bumble bees, buzz-pollination, and a bit of thievery. As Read more …


Planting for Pollinators: Button Bush

Published on October 26, 2017

  This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Button Bush Cephalanthus occidentalis A popular cultivar of button bush is ‘Sputnik’ and when you see Read more …


Bringing Back Native Thistles

Published on August 16, 2017

Portions of this blog post have been excerpted from our new guide Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide Native thistles are a largely misunderstood and wrongly maligned group of wildflowers. Often confused with their prickly, invasive relatives such as Canada thistle, in reality, native thistles  are benign and valuable plants that fill a variety of Read more …


Gardening For Moths

Published on July 21, 2017

Few people take notice of moths, despite their close relationship with butterflies. Even fewer people intentionally create gardens for them. The muted colors of many species, along with the reputation of a tiny fraction of them as crop or wardrobe pests has done little to endear moths to the average gardener.  But the truth is that moths are a beautiful and interesting wildlife group that anyone can attract to a garden.


Plants for Pollinators: Cup Plant

Published on June 28, 2017

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Cup Plant, Compass Plant, Rosinweed Silhpium spp. Cup plant, compass plant, and rosin weed are common names Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Beardtongue

Published on June 8, 2017

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Beardtongue Penstemon spp. Beardtongue gets its name for the hairs that line the protruding lower petal of Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Culver’s Root

Published on May 24, 2017

This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Culver’s Root Veranicastrum virginicum spp. Culver’s Root has largely been ignored by beekeepers and gardeners, but has Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Pearly Everlasting

Published on May 5, 2017

It’s National Wildflower Week! The first week in May is a time to celebrate our native wildflowers and the pollinators they support. This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Tickseed

Published on May 3, 2017

It’s National Wildflower Week! The first week in May is a time to celebrate our native wildflowers and the pollinators they support. This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Blanketflower

Published on May 2, 2017

It’s National Wildflower Week! The first week in May is a time to celebrate our native wildflowers and the pollinators they support. This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Violets

Published on April 7, 2017

This post is part of a series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Common Blue Violet Viola sororia Violets are often bemoaned as “weeds” when found in lawns, and otherwise impugned for Read more …


Plants for Pollinators: Pussy Willow

Published on March 1, 2017

This post is part of a series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Pussy Willow Salix discolor Pussy willow is much loved by florists and decorators eager to bring some of the natural Read more …


The 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year, and Other Milkweeds You Should Know

Published on January 23, 2017

Each year since 1990, the Perennial Plant Association has designated a “Perennial Plant of the Year.” The designation has become well known amongst growers, landscapers, gardeners, and others who eagerly await the announcement each year. Selection often launches the chosen plant into the mainstream, making it more widely available. While the association has often favored Read more …


Bumble Bees and Baptisia: A Pollination Story

Published on June 21, 2016

Plants use many “tricks” to entice insects into the work of pollination. The shape, color, and bloom period of a plant’s flowers can greatly influence who their potential pollinator mate may be. Such is the case when considering the relationship between bumble bees and flowers in the genus Baptisia. There are two plants of the Read more …


Delectable Native Plants Attract a Very Special Crowd

Published on May 20, 2015

What do cherries, plums, serviceberries, black raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and crab apples have in common (apart from making your mouth water)? What about blueberries, cranberries, teaberries, and kinnikinnick? All are fruits of North American plants pollinated by native bees, flies, and other insects. Cherries and company are all in the rose family, while blueberries and Read more …


Wildflowers, Harbingers of Spring

Published on April 28, 2015

The delicate blossoms of spring wildflowers are often the first splashes of color after a long winter. Some, like pasque flowers (Pulsatilla spp.), even push their blooms up through the snow. Spring wildflowers are a welcome sight for tickle bees and other early-emerging pollinators at a time when nectar and pollen sources can be scarce, Read more …