- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Bees and other pollinators may have a tough time during the fourth year of California's severe drought, as they search for nectar and pollen. Expect to see many plants wither, wilt and die due to the "D" word, "Drought."
Gov. Jerry Brown's mandate that we cut our water use by at least 25 percent worries many a bee gardener.
But wait, the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery has scheduled a public plant sale for Saturday, April 11 starring low-water, drought-tolerant plants.
The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery on Garrod Drive. They're offering a list of 35 Low-water Plants You've (Probably) Never Heard of. It's a good time to explore what they have to offer.
Going through the list, we see they have anemones, desert spoons, desert willows, gold tooth aloe, mouse-eared tickseed, buckwheats, and salvia (sages), among others. Many are bee favorites. (A good resource is California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners (Heyday Publications), a book written by scientists affiliated with the University of California, Gordon W. Frankie, Robbin W. Thorp, Rollin E. Coville, and Barbara Ertter)
The low-water plants that UC Davis Aboretum lists?
- Agave americana ‘Mediopicta Alba' white-striped century plant
- Carpenteria californica ‘Elizabeth' Elizabeth bush anemone
- Dasylirion wheeleri desert spoon
- Agave vilmoriniana octopus agave
- Chilopsis linearis desert willow
- Dudleya caespitosa coast dudleya
- Aloe × spinosissima gold tooth aloe
- Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana' dwarf mouse-eared tickseed
- Eremophila maculata ‘Aurea' spotted emu bush
- Arctostaphylos pajaroensis ‘Paradise' paradise Manzanita
- Correa pulchella ‘Orange Flame' orange flame correa
- Eriogonum fasciculatum ‘Theodore Payne' dwarf California buckwheat
- Eriogonum umbellatum sulphur buckwheat
- Geranium × cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo' Biokovo geranium
- Leucophyllum frutescens Cenizo
- Festuca idahoensis ‘Clearwater Blue' Clearwater Idaho fescue
- Grindelia camporum Great Valley gum plant
- Othonna cheirfolia Barberry ragweed
- Fremontodendron ‘San Gabriel'
- Horkelia californica California horkelia
- Pelargonium sidoides garnet geranium
- Gambelia speciosa ‘Firecracker' Island snapdragon
- Peritoma arborea bladderpod
- Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Lissvery' PBR silvery blue Russian sage
- Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles' hybrid Jerusalem sage
- Salvia clevelandii ‘Aromas' San Diego sage
- Stachys albotomentosa ‘Hidalgo' Hidalgo stachys
- Prunus andersonii desert peach
- Salvia ‘San Carlos Festival' San Carlos hybrid sage
- Sternbergia lutea autumn crocus
- Russelia equisetiformis coral fountain
- Sedum stenopetalum worm-leaved stonecrop
- Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard' color guard yucca
- Salvia × jamensis ‘California Sunset' orange autumn sage
- Sophora secundiflora Texas mountain laurel
We're quite fond of the anemone--especially when there's a bee on it--and the gum plant--definitely when there's a bee on it.
In our yard we find that catmint (Nepeta), Mexican sunflower (Tithonia), tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii) take little water and attract many pollinators. The Tithonia, an annual, bloomed last year from April through October. It seemed happy even when the temperature hit 100 degrees.