Best Bee-Friendly Plants for Austin

Attract and Nourish Bees with Nectar Producing Plants

We often think of bees only in the context of honey and fruit production. But the truth is that our natural and agricultural systems are dependent on insect pollinators.  Unfortunately, the numbers of both native and domesticated honey bee populations are declining. They are threatened by habitat loss, disease, and inappropriate use of pesticides. But here is the good news: your property can be a sanctuary. The very act of gardening can provide diverse nectar sources and habitats to keep bee populations stable and knowing which are the best bee-friendly plants for Austin is a good place to start.

Choose Plants that Attract Bees

Fall Aster - Aster oblongifolium - a bee-friendly plant for Austin

Fall Aster – Symphyotrichum oblongifolium

Bees love native wildflowers, flowering herbs, berries, flowering fruits and vegetables – and weeds!

The Travis County Master Gardeners have compiled this list of plants that you can consider incorporating into your garden. Most of these are suitable for our Austin area soils but have varying water requirements. Do your research to make sure the plant is appropriate for your site.

Common Name
Scientific Name
Blooming Season
Abelia Abelia x grandiflora Shrub Spring ‐ Fall
Agarita Mahonia trifoliolata Shrub Feb. ‐ April
Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Herb June ‐ Sept.
Arugula (flowers) Brassica eruca Vegetable Spring
Aster Symphyotrichum sp. Flowering plant Aug. ‐ Oct.
Autumn Sage Salvia greggii Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii Flowering plant Early Spring
Basil ‘African Blue’ Ocimum basilicum Herb Late Summer
Bee Balm
(Horsemint, Bergamot)
Monarda Shrub Spring ‐ Summer
Bee Bush Aloysia gratissima Shrub Spring ‐ Summer
Black Willow Salix nigra Tree Spring
Black‐eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Flowering plant June ‐ Aug.
Blackfoot Daisy Melampodium leucanthum Flowering plant Early Spring
Blue Beard Spirea Caryopteris Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Blue Curls Phacelia congesta Flowering plant Spring
Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis Flowering plant Spring
Blue Mistflower Conoclinium coelestinum Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Borage Borage officinalis Herb Summer
Bottlebrush Callistemon rigidus Shrub Spring
Bulbine Bulbine frutescens Flowering plant Spring
Butterfly Bush Budddelia davidii Shrub Spring
Catnip Nepeta cateria Herb Summer
Cherry Laurel Prunus caroliniana Shrub Spring
Clover, All Trifolium Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Columbine (Golden) Aquilegia chrysantha Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Crape Myrtle Lagerstroemia indica Shrub or Tree Spring ‐ Fall
Crossvine. Tangerine Bignonia caprelota Vine Spring ‐ Fall
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Herb or Weed Spring
Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis Tree Summer ‐ Fall
Engleman’s Sage Engelmannii salvia Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Erect Dayflower Commelina erecta Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Esperanza Tecoma stans Shrub Spring ‐ Fall
Eve’s Necklace Sophora affinis Tree Spring
False Foxglove Agalinis heterophylla Flowering plant Summer
False Indigo Baptista australis Flowering plant Summer
Flax, Berlandier’s Yellow Linum berlandieri Shrub Spring ‐ Fall
Evening Primrose Oenothera macrocarpa Flowering plant Spring
Fruit Trees Any Adapted Trees Tree Spring
Global Mallow Sphaeralcea angustifolia Flowering plant Summer
Golden Groundsel Packera obovata Flowering plant Spring
Goldenrod Solidago sp. Flowering plant Summer
Grapevines Any adapted variety Vine Spring ‐ Summer
Gregg’s Dalea Dalea greggli Flowering plant Spring
Gregg’s Mistflower Conocilinum greggi Flowering plant Spring
Gulf Coast Pentsamon Pentstamon tenuis Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Hairy Vetch Vicia villosa Flowering plant Summer
Henbit Lamium amplexicaule Weed Spring
Hawthorn, Little Pinkie Rhaphiolepis indica Shrub Spring
Hibiscus Hibiscus Shrub Summer ‐ Fall
Honey Mesquite Prosopis glandulosa Tree Spring ‐ Fall
Huisache Daisy Amblyolepis setigera Flowering plant Spring
Indigo Spires Salvia Salvia longispicata x Salvia farinacea ‘Indigo Spires’ Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Indian Blanket Gaillardia pulchella Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Kidneywood Eysenhardtia texana Shrub Spring ‐ Fall
Lantana, Texas Lantana sp. Shrub Summer ‐ Fall
Large Buttercup Ranunculus macranthus Flowering plant Spring
Larkspur Delphenium sp. Flowering plant Spring
Lyre Leaf Sage Salvia lyrata Flowering plant Spring
Mealy Blue Sage Salvia farinacea Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Mesquite Prosopis sp. Tree Spring
Mexican Buckeye Ungnadia speciosa Shrub or Tree Spring
Mexican Hat Ratibida columnifera Flowering plant Spring
Mexican Honeysuckle Justica spicigera Shrub Year‐round
Mexican Plums Prunus mexicana Tree Spring
Milkweed Asclepias sp. Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Mint Lamiaceae sp. Flowering plant Spring ‐ Summer
Monarch Vine,
Climbing Hemp Vine
Mikania scandens Vine Spring ‐ Fall
Morning Glory Convolvulaceae sp. Vine Spring ‐ Fall
Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora Shrub or Tree Spring
Mustard Brassica rapa Herb Summer
Orchid Tree, Anacacho Orchid Bauhinia lunarioides Tree Spring
Oregano Origanum vulgare Herb Summer
Partridge Pea Chamaecrista fasciculata Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Pepper Grass Lepidium virginicum Weed Summer
Persimmon, Texas Diospyros texana Tree Summer
Pink Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa Flowering plant Spring
Pistachio Tree Pistacia mexicana Shrub or Tree Spring
Prairie Penstemon Penstemon cobaea Flowering plant Summer
Prairie Verbena Glandularia bipinnatifida Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Prickly Pear Opuntia Flowering plant Spring
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Purple Heart Tradescantia pallida Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Purple Sage Leucophyllum frutescens Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Pyracantha Pyracantha coccinea Shrub Spring
Retama Parkinsonia aculeata Tree Spring ‐ Summer
Redbud Tree Cercis canadensis var. texensis Tree Spring
Rock Rose Pavonia lasiopetala Shrub Spring ‐Summer
Rosemary Salvia rosmarinus Shrub Spring
Shrimp Plant Justicia brandgeeana Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Sky‐Blue Aster Symphyotrichum oolentangiense Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Spiderwort Tradescantia sp. Flowering plant Summer ‐ Fall
Sumac, Evergreen Rhus virens Shrub Summer ‐ Fall
Sumac, Flame Red Rhus copallinum Tree Summer ‐ Fall
Sunflower Helianthus sp. Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Tahoka Daisy, Prairie Aster Machaeranthera tanacetifolia Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Texas Barberry Mahonia swaseyi Shrub Winter ‐ Spring
Texas Betony Stachys coccinea Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Thistles Cirsium Weed Spring ‐ Fall
Wild Onion Allium canadense Herb Summer
Wild Plum Prunus americana Shrub or Tree Spring
Winecup Callirhoe digitata Flowering plant Spring
Wisteria Wisteria frutescens Vine Spring ‐ Summer
Yarrow, Common Achiliea Flowering plant Spring ‐ Fall
Yellow Bells (Esperanza) Tecoma stans Shrub Spring ‐ Fall

Additional Resources for Pollinators and Plants

Creating an Insect & Pollinator Friendly Garden
Selecting Plants for Pollinators
Building and Managing Bee Hotels for Wild Bees
Orchard Mason Bees
Bees of Central Texas General Guide
City of Austin Beekeeping Regulations
Annual and Perennial Flowers for Austin

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