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Annual flowers for pollinators

Raised garden bed made of wood in a grassy area with other gardens in the background.
Raised beds make great annual gardens. This bed measures about 30 x 84 inches and is 24 inches high.

Annual flowers can provide great garden and container interest with their ongoing blossoms and diverse forms and foliage.

Here are some flowers you can still plant now to beautify your landscape and attract pollinators to your garden.

Zinnia Zinnia 'Benary's Giant Mix'
Heliotrope Heliotropium arborescens
Butter daisy Melampodium 'Showstar'
Fan flower Scaevola hybrid 'Whirlwind® Blue'
Moss rose  Portulaca 'Sundial Mix', 'Happy Hour Peppermint'
Lavender verbena Verbena bonariensis
Dahlberg daisy or golden fleece Dyssodia tenuiloba 'Golden Fleece'
Cosmos Cosmos 'Sonata TM Mix'
Ageratum Ageratum 'Blue Horizon'
Flowering tobacco Nicotiana sylvestris. Although it contains trace amounts of nicotine, it is not toxic to bees. 
Butter daisy plants with small, gold daisy-like flowers with green leaves in a garden bed.
Showstar butter daisy (Melampodium) was a winner in the Flowers for Annuals trials 2018-2019.
Fan flower is a short spreading plant with purple flowers spilling over the end of a wood raised bed.
Whirlwind® Blue fan flower (Scaevola) is a favorite of syrphid or “hover” flies.
White tubular nicotiana flowers dangling over bright green wide, flat leaves.
Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) has fragrant white flowers that can be seen at night. It is also attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.
Heliotrope plants with clusters of tiny, dark purple flowers and dark green leaves in a garden bed.
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)

Find more plants to attract pollinators to your garden.

Is Nicotiana harmful to bees? University of Washington Botanic Garden has answers.

Author: Julie Weisenhorn, Extension educator, horticulture

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