Plants for Pollinators

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January is not too early to make plans for enhancing the value of your landscape and gardens for pollinators. Plant species diversity will be key, as we want to provide nourishment across a long span of time, and for as many different insect species as possible. NC State University has excellent resources on this topic, beginning with Growing a Pollinator Garden, posted by Justin Moore in 2019.

Image of a Carolina lupine

Pictured above is the spring-flowering Carolina lupine (Thermopsis villosa), being visited by the brown-belted bumble bee (Bombus griseocollis) on the left and the eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) on the right. (Photo by Nathaniel Glasgow; bee ID by Elsa Youngsteadt/NCSU.)

Image of winter jasmine

An excellent season-extender for honeybees and other pollinators is the winter jasmine (Jasminum nudum), seen above in full flower, during a January cold spell at the Craven County Agricultural Building. Note: This plant should not be confused with the native flowering vine, Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine), which is poisonous to bees and people.