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Gardening for Pollinators


Prairie plants develop slowly and some species may take 3-5 years or more before they will flower. Patience is the key to a successful and enjoyable prairie planting.

You can grow a pollinator garden of any size, from a few square feet to an acre or more. These gardens benefit monarchs and other pollinators while beautifying your yard or landscape.

There are a multitude of online resources to help you plan your garden or planting.

Recommended Blooming Plants

Below is a listing of some of the grasses and flowering plants that are native to or grow well in North Dakota.

Printable Chart

Common Name Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Host To Associated Wildlife
Heart-Leaf Alexander x x           Black Swallowtail Small bees, flies, and other insects frequent the flowers for nectar.
Lewis Blue Flax x x              
Prairie Crocus x x              
Wild Columbine x x x         Duskywing Moths, saw flies, and miner flies feed on foliage. Bees and hummingbirds visit frequently.
Golden Alexander x x x         Black Swallowtail  
Large Beardtongue   x x            
Prairie Smoke   x x            
Scarlet Globemallow   x x            
Downy Paintbrush   x x x          
Narrow-Leaved Coneflower     x x         Key nectar source for skipper butterflies
Wild licorice     x x          
Prairie Rose     x x          
Swamp Milkweed     x x x     Monarch Butterfly  
Butterfly Milkweed     x x x     Monarch Butterfly  
Common Milkweed     x x x     Monarch Butterfly  
Leadplant     x x x        
Scarlet Guara     x x x        
Blanketflower     x x x       Highly beneficial to native bees.
Showy Milkweed     x x x     Monarch Butterfly Highly attractive to native bees and honey bees.
Silverleaf Scurfpea     x x x        
Purple Prairie Clover     x x x        
Anise Hyssop     x x x x     Frequently visited by bees and butterflies.
Common Yarrow     x x x x   Painted Lady  
False Sunflower     x x x x      
Hoary Vervain     x x x x     Frequently visited by butterflies.
Wild Bergamot     x x x x     Attracts long-tongued bees: miner, leaf cutting, and cuckoo bees. Attracts butterflies & hummingbird moths.
Plains Coreopsis     x x x x      
White Prairie Clover     x x x x      
Black-Eyed Susan       x x x   Silvery Checkerspot Attractive to many bees and flies, as well as some butterflies and beetles.
Blue Vervain       x x x      
Cup Plant       x x x     Attracts a number of birds
Dotted Blazing Star       x x x      
Grayheaded Coneflower       x x x      
Ironweed       x x x      
Joe Pye Weed       x x x      
Maximillian Sunflower       x x x      
Prairie Blazing Star       x x x      
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant       x x x      
Missouri Goldenrod       x x x      
Whorled Milkweed       x x x      
Stiff Sunflower       x x x      
Ten Petal Blazing Star       x x x      
Button Blazing Star       x x x x   Attracts bees and butterflies.
Meadow Blazing Star         x x     Attracts bees and butterflies.
New England Aster         x x x    
Showy Goldenrod         x x x    
Smooth Blue Aster         x x x Pearl Crescent Nectar and pollen attract many bees, flies, and butterflies.
Stiff Goldenrod         x x x   The stems are perches for songbirds and the seeds are a late season bird food. Monarchs and other pollinators frequent the flowers.
White Heath Aster         x x x    

Recommended Grasses

  • Indian grass: Nesting site for many birds and insects. Many grasshoppers eat the foliage. Birds eat the seeds.
  • Little bluestem: Host to Skippers (Dakota). Nesting site for songbirds and insects. Mining beetles, thrips, and leafhoppers eat the foliage. Birds eat the seeds.
  • Side oats grama: Leafhoppers, grasshoppers, and stinkbugs eat the foliage. Birds eat the seeds.
  • Big bluestem: Host to Ottoe Skipper. The caterpillars of several skippers (Dusted, Leonard's, Ottoe, etc.) feed on the foliage, as well as many beetles. Birds eat the seeds.
  • Prairie dropseed: Grasshoppers and leafhoppers eat the foliage. Birds eat the seeds.
  • Switchgrass
  • Prairie junegrass
  • Canada wild rye
  • Indian grass: Nesting site for many birds and insects. Many grasshoppers eat the foliage. Birds eat the seeds.
  • Junegrass