Aster Nursery

Native Host Plants for Pollen Specialist Bees

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Pollenizers are plants that provide pollen. Pollinators are animals that transfer pollen. Bees are pollinators whose larvae eat pollen. Bee larvae can be pollen generalists or specialists: polyleges prefer many unrelated pollenizers, while oligoleges prefer pollen from a few plant genera and monoleges require pollen from one plant genus.
  • Roughly 30% of U.S. native bee species are pollen specialists
  • Most oligoleges prefer the Aster Family nationwide
  • Many monoleges have unique mutualisms with pollenizers
  • Over 60% of specialist bees are rare and need our help
  • We can help pollen specialists by planting pollenizers

Aster Nursery grows host plants for pollen specialist bees.
Nomadic: 2021 Nipmuc Territory
Contact: j@jarrodfowler.com

Pollenizers 2021

100 Landscape Plugs or 30 Gallon Nursery Pots for $300. Mutably available, May 2021 (Top 20 genera for local monoleges):

Spring Flowering:
Baileya multiradiata, Chrysogonum virginianum, Coreopsis lanceolata, Erigeron pulchellus, Eschscholzia californica, Geranium maculatum, Gilia capitata, Gilia tricolor, Houstonia longifolia, Hydrophyllum virginianum, Layia platyglossa, Lupinus perennis, Monarda bradburiana, Nemophilia menziesii, Oenothera pilosella, Packera aurea, Packera plattensis, Penstemon hirsutus, Phacelia campanularia, Phacelia tanacetifolia, Polemonium reptans, Salix caroliniana, Salix discolor, Salix eriocephala, Salix lucida, Salix sericea, Taenidia integerrima, Viola pedata, Viola sororia, Waldsteinia fragaroides, Zizia aptera, Zizia aurea ...

Summer Flowering:
Amorpha canescens, Astragalus canadensis, Calamintha nepetoides, Callirhoe involucrata, Campanula rotundifolia, Ceanothus americanus, Chrysopsis villosa, Cleome serrulata, Coreopsis tinctoria, Coreopsis verticillata, Cucurbita pepo, Dalea purpurea, Echinacea purpurea, Euphorbia corollata, Gaillardia aristata, Gaillardia pulchella, Helenium amarum, Helianthus annuus, Helianthus decapetalus, Helianthus divaricatus, Helianthus maximiliani, Helianthus mollis, Helianthus pauciflorus, Heliopsis helianthoides, Lactuca canadensis, Liatris scariosa, Lotus unifoliolatus, Lysimachia ciliata, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Monarda fistulosa, Oenothera fruticosa, Physalis pubescens, Pontederia cordata, Ratibida columnifera, Rudbeckia hirta, Silphium laciniatum, Silphium perfoliatum, Solidago juncea, Solidago odora, Strophostyles helvula, Verbena hastata ...

Fall Flowering:
Bidens aristosa, Bidens coronata, Boltonia asteroides, Cirsium altissimum, Cirsium discolor, Cirsium muticum, Doellingeria umbellata, Eurybia divaricata, Eurybia macrophylla, Euthamia caroliniana, Euthamia graminifolia, Grindelia integrifolia, Grindelia squarrosa, Helenium autumnale, Helianthus angustifolius, Helianthus giganteus, Helianthus grosseserratus, Ionactis linariifolia, Monarda punctata, Oenothera biennis, Oligoneuron rigidum, Rudbeckia laciniata, Rudbeckia triloba, Salvia azurea, Solidago bicolor, Solidago caesia, Solidago gigantea, Solidago nemoralis, Solidago puberula, Solidago rugosa, Solidago sempervirens, Solidago speciosa, Symphyotrichum cordifolium, Symphyotrichum ericoides, Symphyotrichum laeve, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, Symphyotrichum novi-belgii, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Symphyotrichum pilosum, Symphyotrichum puniceum, Verbesina alternifolia, Vernonia fasciculata, Vernonia gigantea, Vernonia noveboracensis ...

Pesticide-free plants perfect for polyleges, pollinator conservation and conservation biocontrol.

Pollenizer Planting: A New Perspective

Composed complexes, randomized mixes, or repeated modules of ...
Diverse and densely layered combinations of groups of ...
Pollen specialist bee-specific, locally native host plants ...
Grown within (semi-)natural habitats.

Grouping Pollenizers:

  • Select ≥9 pollenizers = 3 spring, 3 summer, and 3 fall flowering
  • Pick 6 pollenizers for oligoleges
  • Pick 3 pollenizers for monoleges
  • Group 7–12 individuals per m2 (11 ft2)
Combining Groups of Pollenizers:
  • Mix 7 oligolege groups to 3 monolege groups
  • Repeat ≥2 groups per ≥9 species for ≥20 groups
  • Grow 100–200 oligolege plants to 40–80 monolege plants
  • Create a ≥20 m2 (≥220 ft2) habitat garden
Sample ~2 m X 10 m (~7 ft X 33 ft) Habitat Garden:
  • 20 groups of 9 species, 3 species per season (SP, SU, FA)
  • Monolege plants mixed in a matrix of oligolege plants
  • Layer 1. SP1-FA9-SU4-SU8-SU3-FA9-SP2-SP7-SU3-FA9
  • Layer 2. FA6-SU3-SP7-SP2-FA5-SP1-FA6-SU4-FA5-SU8
Habitat Garden Features:
  • Patches of bare soil with sparse vegetation
  • Piles of brush, logs, pebbles, rocks, or stones
  • Snags or stems that are hollow or pithy
  • Sources of clay and clean water
Ecological gardens that artfully encourage symbioses.

Photos from The USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Gardening services available. Contact: j@jarrodfowler.com

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