May 062013

A list of drought resistant plants that provide great forage for honey bees:

Aster (various). Purple Aster: Aster bigelovii. Profusely branched annual or biennial to 3 feet. Becomes a solid mound of lilac flowers in the fall. Plant seeds anytime, early fall is best. Water for more abundant flowering.

Blue Mist Spirea Caryopteris x clandonesis. Blue flowering 3-4 ft tall shrub, summer blooming, well drained soil.

Catmint Nepeta x faassenii. Early summer bloom, purple flowers, long bloom. Low water.

Fern bush Chamaebatiaria millefolium. Native, grows 6-8 ft tall and wide, with columns of small white flowers in midsummer, fragrant foliage, drought tolerant when well established.

Lamb’s Ears Stachys byzantina. Perennial, mats of fuzzy, soft silver leaves sprout 1.5 ft tall spikes of pinkish purple flowers in late spring, early summer, spreads easily.

Locust Robinia neomexicana. A small native tree (8-15 ft) with drooping clusters of pretty purplish -pink flowers. Good for erosion control. A tough tree, tolerates alkaline soil, and some drought. Spreads by suckers and seeds.

Oregon Grape Mahonia aquifolium. An evergreen shrub 2- 4 ft tall, with fragrant small yellow flowers in the spring, followed by clusters of blue berries in fall. Prefers partial shade and regular water, but is drought tolerant, and tolerates harsh conditions.

Purple Cone Flower Echinacea. Drought tolerant once established, perennial comes in various colors, summer bloom.

Rocky Mountain Bee Plant Cleome serrulata. Native annual pink to purple pink flowers in summer, drought tolerant.

Rocky Mountain Penstemon Penstemon Strictus. Perennial with blue/purple flowers in late spring, drought tolerant.

Russian Sage Perovska atriplicafolia. Perennial 4-5 ft tall, shrub-like with long-blooming spikes of blue flowers in summer and late summer. Drought tolerant.

Scarlet GlobemallowSphaeralcea coccinea. Low spreading perennial with orange saucer-shaped flowers in late summer, very drought tolerant.

Sedum Sedum spp. Fall blooming and hardy, especially Autumn Joy and Ruby Glow.

Thyme Thymus (various). Many varieties, some creeping, others tiny dense rounded shrubs, most have aromatic leaves blooming in late spring.