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Curated Perennial Plant List for Pollinator Support and Pollinator Corridor Development.

Aster cordifolia common blue wood aster

A woodland edge native with purple to off white daisy-like flower and yellow centers. They have an upright and branched form in cultivation, growing up to 3 feet tall. This Aster is no different than many others in its family – providing valuable habitat for Lepidoptera larva and is a nectar source for bees, wasps, and butterflies. Its leaves are forage for many wild animals including wild turkey and Ruffled Grouse.

Chelone glabra turtlehead

Turtlehead, has spikes of elegant white flowers atop shiny green foliage in late summer to early fall. The flowers can possess a touch of pink and resemble snapdragon flowers. It is a favorite breeding site for the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly and is well-loved by nectar seeking bumblebees. While the foliage is a feast for some sawflies and other Lepidoptera caterpillars, it is avoided by deer. It prefers full or partial sun in wet to moist soil conditions with fertile soil containing organic matter. It can tolerate periodic flooding and can do well in a garden if watered during dry spells.

Echinacea purpurea purple cone flower

One of the great butterfly magnets of the native perennial garden! Coneflowers are easy to grow in average to dry, well drained soils. Flowers with large orange gold spiky centers and strong reflexed rose pink petals appear in July and August. Very drought tolerant. Butterflies and bees love the nectar of the flowers and goldfinches can’t help but flock to the seeds during the fall.

Eupatorium d. ‘Little Joe’ Joe-pye weed

Eupatorium dubium ‘Little Joe’ is a selection discovered by Steve Lighty. There it was, settled among other seedlings of Eupatorium dubium, noticeably different because of its upright and compact stature, lavender-mauve flowers, and drought tolerance (although it is still in need of water – wetland edge plant). ‘Little Joe’, like many other Eupatorium, is covered in pollinators while in bloom and its hollow stems are good solitary bee nesting material - if possible, leave 6-18" of stem up for nesting bees and cut back only after the red maples (Acer rubrum) blooms.

Geranium maculatum cranesbill geranium

Very low-maintenance, you can frequently spot pollinators visiting the blooms of this plant as well as chipmunks merrily eating the seeds in the summer. Easy to grow in most shady spots, it flowers in spring with pink or lavender blooms. Found in open woods, clearings, woods edges and roadsides throughout the Eastern US.

Lobelia siphilitica great blue lobelia

The spikes of brilliant true blue flowers on this wetland native attract butterflies, hummingbirds and neighbors to your garden! Lobelia siphilitica provides outstanding color for the border, wet meadow or pond edge. Naturalizes easily in moist soils, but tolerates periods of drought.

Mondarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ bee balm

Wonderfully aromatic foliage and stems with enormous red tubular flowers from June to August. A Saul Nursery introduction - found growing wild near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cherished by butterflies and hummingbirds. Also makes an excellent cut flower!

Monarda fistulosa ‘Claire Grace’ wild bergamot

When in bloom, it is extremely showy and was covered in 100% flower coverage for over 3 weeks from June to July. It provides habitat and forage to a wide variety of pollinators including bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds as well as some specialist insects.

Monarda punctata dotted horse mint

A valuable ecological species, Monarda punctata is the equivalent of a juice bar at the gym for nectar loving/needing insects! BONUS, it also resists all other kinds of mites that could impact the bees because it is incredibly high in thymol. It is excellent for meadows and naturalistic plantings with the unusual flowers and bracts attracting attention, by humans and insects alike.

Penstemon digitalis beard tongue

Drought tolerant, tough as nails, and deer resistant. The tubular flowers make an excellent landing pad for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds alike! Beardtongue supports dozens of native bees and pollinators including long-tongued bees as well as Halictid bees, moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The foliage supports at least three different larval stages of moths.

Phox paniculata ‘Jeana’ garden phlox

Phlox paniculata is beloved by Swallowtail butterflies and the nectar supports butterflies, skippers, hummingbird moths, sphinx moths and hummingbirds. ‘Jeana’ combines ecological value, disease resistance, habit and form into one powerhouse package. Expect a flurry of pollinator activity!

Pycnanthemum flexuosum mountain mint

Mountain mint contains pulegone which is a natural insect repellant. It is a larval host plant for the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly and the flowers are covered in wasps, bees, flies, butterflies, and skippers as it blooms throughout the summer.

Pycnanthemum muticum mountain mint

Mountain Mint is one of the best nectar sources for native butterflies, so butterfly gardeners can't do without this one. Our bees go crazy for it, too – as do the pin-waisted wasps! The abundant nectar supply and accessible nectaries attracts pollinators from large to small, from sweat bees to flies to skippers to wasps. And it makes an excellent cut flower…

Tiarella cordifoia ‘Brandywine’ foam flower

Early-season pollinators visit foamflower while other plants are still waking up in the spring. ‘Brandywine’ is a strong grower with glossy, rugose leaves and excellent bronze fall and winter color and provides a stable groundcover at the woodland edge.

Veronicastrum v. f. caeruleum culver’s root

Big dramatic spikes of white Veronica-like flowers in July and August. Very tough and long-lasting once established. It’s pollen and nectar are collected by short and long-tongued bees as well as by a variety of wasps, flies, moths, and butterflies.

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