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If you have a mostly shady yard, you might know from experience that most pollinators — bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and hawkmoths — love the bright open spaces where sunshine abounds. Seek out plants that tolerate shady conditions yet produce flowers that lure in the passing insect or bird to sip nectar and set seeds for the plant and to delight the observant gardener.
Choose plants that attract not just honeybees, but also bumblebees and native bees. Bee balm (Monarda species), a member of the mint family that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9, is native to forest understories in North America. Cultivars with pink, purple, white and red flowers attract bumblebees to visit the lipped flowers for nectar. As a bonus, butterflies and hummingbirds also visit bee balm. Wedelia (Wedelia trilobata) makes a dark green groundcover studded with bright yellow daisy-like flowers in partial…
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