Pollinator Friendly Plants

black and white moth with orange head feeding on sage

Hera Buckmoth

 

Insects

Native plants have evolved over time to benefit from the particular insects available in their habitat and native insects have likewise adapted to utilize the plants around them.  Plant adaptations to insect pollination systems vary from visual elements including color, structure, and patterns to varieties of smells and tastes.

 

While many plants are hosts to a variety of insects, some native plants are hosts to single insect species without which the plant cannot reproduce.  Likewise insects seek out the specific host plants they count on for food, shelter and reproduction and when the populations of these plants decrease, the insect populations decline. Declines in insect populations are directly related to poor pollination in plant crops.

Birds, mammals and reptiles

mountain bluebird on fence post

Mountain Bluebird

Birds, mammals and reptiles have also evolved to utilize the plants and insects in their ecosystems.  Without these, populations often decline.

Things to consider when providing plants for pollinators:

  • provide plant diversity for multiple species of pollinators
  • use plants that bloom at various times to provide food all season long
  • place plants close to food and water sources so pollinators feel safe
  • have clean water available as well as plants (ie birdbaths and shallow saucers with gravel and water for insects)
single calliope hummingbird in mid-air

Calliope hummingbird

 

 

 

 

 

Blackfoot Native Plants Wildflowers for pollinators available in 2016: