Four native plants in the southwest were most attractive in Pollinator Partnership plant trials.
(2014) The Pollinator Parntership Winter Newsletter. The Pollinator Partnership working with a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Grant, conducted field trials of plant mixes designed to support local pollinators in Arizona. Thirteen plant species native to the Southwest were planted at the Tucson Plant Material Center in 2010. The mix was intended to attract a diversity of native pollinators as well as honeybees. In the spring and summer of 2014 Pollinator Partnership monitored pollinator visits to the plant species in the mix.
They found the vast majority of native bees went to four key plants:
Honeybees showed similar results, with Gaillardia aristata being five times more attractive than others. Insects that show a preference for one host plant species are oligolectic, while those visiting multiple species in similar plant genera are mesolectic. Many native pollinators are oligolectic or mesolectic. Some pollinators visit multiple species in multiple genera and are considered to be polylectic, honeybees fit this category.
Excerpted from the Pollinator Partnership 2014 Winter Newsletter. Pollinator Partnership’s website is here: http://www.pollinator.org/index.html