Plant a Pollinator Garden

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Illinois Pollinator Plants
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White Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms May through July; produces flower spikes of blue and white with pea-like florets; forms green pods that turn black and split open.
  • Growing conditions: Grows up to 5 feet tall; full sun; drought tolerant; long-lived; slow to establish; unable to compete against aggressive plants.
  • ¬†Pollinator Associations: Bees.

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms June through September; produces blue-violet spike flowers.
  • Growing conditions: Grows up to 3 feet tall;full sun to partial sun; adaptable and easy.
  • Pollinator Associations: Bees, flies, moths, skippers, and butterflies.

Prairie Sundrops (Sundrops pilosella)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms June through July; produces yellow petals with show floral parts in a saucer shape.
  • Growing Conditions: Grows 2 feet tall; full sun; moist conditions; organic-rich soils; can have aggressive qualities.
  • Pollinator Associations: Bees, moths, skippers, and butterflies.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms June through August; the single composite flower of dark brown disk florets surrounded by bright yellow ray florets.
  • Growing Conditions: grows 1 to 2 and half feet tall; full sun; easy to grow; short-lived biennial that spreads quickly by reseeding.
  • Pollinator Associations: bees, flies, wasps, beetles, and butterflies. Caterpillars of silvery, checkered spots feed on the leaves.

Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms April through May; red and yellow blossoms that have pronounced nectar spurs.
  • Growing Conditions: Grows 1 to 3 feet tall; prefers shade to partial shade; woodland species; cut back fading foliage after flowering.
  • Pollinator Associations: Bees and hummingbirds.

American Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms July through September; large spreading flower head with clusters of white disk florets; flowers turn into achenes and are dispersed by wind.
  • Growing Conditions: Grows 2 to 4 feet; full sun to part sun; moist conditions; can withstand some flooding.
  • Pollinator Associations: Bees, flies, wasps, beetles, and butterflies.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms June through August; bright orange umbels followed by hairy dull green to purplish seed heads.
  • Growing Conditions: Grows 1 to 2 and half feet tall; full sun; adaptable to many soils; does not transplant well because of the taproot.
  • Pollinator Associations: Bees, flies, wasps, beetles, and butterflies.

Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms July through September; pink to purplish pink panicle of compound flowers.
  • Growing Conditions: Grows 5 to 7 feet tall; light shade to partial sun; may get leggy in too much shade or overly rich soils.
  • Pollinator Associations: Bees, moth, skippers, and butterflies.

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

  • Plant Characteristics: Blooms July through September with showy red spike like racemes that procures small seeds dispersed by wind.
  • Growing Conditions: Grows 2 to 4 feet tall; light shade to full sun; moist conditions; difficult to transplant because of taproot; can be short-lived.
  • Pollinator Associations: Hummingbirds and butterflies.