Native Plants

Native Pollinator Plants for Your Wisconsin Garden

Several species of plants native to Wisconsin attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. This can make a big difference in your backyard, the garden, or even on neglected fruit trees in the orchard. Below is a list of plants native to Wisconsin that attract bees and other pollinators.

Black Cherry Tree

The Black Cherry Tree grows well in the Midwest. It has dark, glossy leaves, which have a slightly minty flavor. The flowers are white and fragrant and come in clusters on the branches at the top of the tree.

It is a deciduous tree that grows to around 20 feet tall. It has a narrow trunk that declines in size toward the bottom. It has long, slender branches with pendulous leaves, which are roughly heart-shaped at their base but wider at their tip. The leaves turn yellow or orange before they fall off, which occurs in late spring or early summer.

The black cherry tree is excellent for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. It produces a lot of fruit that birds like to eat, too.


The swamp milkweed is a native plant of Wisconsin that helps attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. It also has a long history of use in herbal medicine.

It has small yellow flowers with five petals and white stamens. The flowers are fragrant, with a sweet scent that attracts butterflies and bees alike. The plant grows up to 3 feet tall in the wild but can be staked to grow even taller if you want it to.

In Wisconsin, swamp milkweed is found in wetland habitats, such as cattail marshes or other areas with seasonal flooding or shallow soil where water pools at times of high water levels. However, it doesn’t need much moisture because its roots are quite deep.

Downy Serviceberry

The Downy Serviceberry is an excellent choice for pollinator-friendly gardens. It has oblong leaves with serrated edges and small green flowers, which bloom in clusters in spring. The fruit is small and yellow-green, and birds often eat it.

The Downy Serviceberry likes moist soil, so it can be found growing along rivers and streams in parts of Wisconsin. It also grows along roadsides, fields, ditches, and other open areas that are low enough to be covered in snowfall during the winter months.

In springtime, bees come out to collect pollen from the Downy Serviceberry’s tiny flowers. The flowers are so small that they are often difficult for humans to see without a magnifying glass.

In addition to attracting bees for pollination purposes, the Downy Serviceberry is also an important food source for many animals such as squirrels, opossums, and deer.

New England Aster

The New England Aster is a perennial wildflower native to the eastern United States, including Wisconsin.

The New England Aster is related to the sunflower, but it has smaller flowers and more prickly leaves than most sunflowers. The flower has five petals and an inner disk of many small yellow ray florets. The plant grows up to 2 feet tall and has clusters of white or pink flowers in summer and fall.

Bees and other pollinators love this plant because it produces nectar that attracts them and also contains protein that helps bees build up their immune systems.

Pussy Willow Tree

The pussy willow tree is a Wisconsin native plant that is good for attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden.

They are very hardy and can survive in most conditions. They have dark green leaves that are aromatic with a sweet scent. The flowers are white, with a yellow center. The flowers are not very showy, but they attract bees and other pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.

Wild Blue Phlox

Wild Blue Phlox is a popular plant for bee gardens because it’s easy to grow and has beautiful flowers.

In Wisconsin, there are several places where you can find this tree: along the shores of lakes and rivers, in open fields or meadows and in forested areas.

Wild blue phlox grows best in full sun. It needs well-draining soil and regular watering to thrive. Its flowers attract bees and other pollinators like butterflies and hoverflies.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is a common wildflower that blooms in spring and early summer. It is native to Wisconsin and is easy to grow, making it an excellent choice for a pollinator garden.

Black-eyed Susan produces small yellow flowers with black centers that bloom in waves along the plant’s stems. The flowers are also edible but are best known for their sweet scent.

The plant has narrow leaves that are green on top and white underneath. Black-eyed Susans grow from 4 to 8 inches tall, depending on how much sun they get and how well they are cared for.


Lupine is a member of the poppy family, which includes other annual plants like many types of sunflowers and pumpkins.

Lupine has long, lance-shaped leaves that are light green. The plant’s flowers are white or purple and grow in groups toward the top of the plant. Lupine blooms from late summer through fall.

Lupine attracts bees and other pollinators because it produces high sugar content nectar, making it an excellent source for bees’ energy needs. This means that lupine can be used as a natural way to attract these important insects into your garden space without using any chemicals or pesticides.


The Smooth Penstemon plant is native to Wisconsin and attracts bees, butterflies, hoverflies, beetles, and other pollinators.

It has a rounded shape and grows up to 4 feet tall. The leaves are dark green on top and light green on the bottom, with narrow edges. The flowers are blue-violet with white centers which bloom from May through June in Wisconsin. They have long sepals that form a tube around the flower head.

The Smooth Penstemon plant is found along streams and rivers in northern Wisconsin. It also prefers to grow near other plants that provide shelter for its roots, such as maple trees or birch trees. The plant tends to grow best near water bodies because it likes moist soil conditions during its growing season.

Smooth Penstemon attracts bees by providing nectar sources inside its flowers and leaves.

Shooting Star

The Shooting Star is one of the most popular plants in Wisconsin. It gets its name from its star-shaped flowers, which are white with five petals. The leaves are oval or lance-shaped, with serrated edges that give them a jagged look when you look at them from far away. The plant grows up to 6 feet tall and produces small purple flowers in summer.

Chances are good that a Shooting Star will attract bees and butterflies. Many species of bees love these plants, so if you want to help support local pollinators in Wisconsin, this is one plant that you can count on.

Great Blue Lobelia

Great Blue Lobelia is a plant native to Wisconsin that attracts pollinators. This plant has blue flowers that get their color from the pigment lobeline.

This plant grows in meadows, forests, fields, and gardens. It grows up to 4 feet tall. The leaves are shaped like lilies and have lobes on each side of the stem. The flowers are very large and blue, with five petals open at night during the cooler months.

The flowers attract pollinators that help pollinate crops such as strawberries, blueberries and tomatoes. Since it likes soil with good drainage but does not require much water during the flowering season (June-July), this plant is ideal for those who want to grow it outdoors or in containers on patios or balconies.

Pale Purple Coneflower

The Pale Purple Coneflower is a member of the aster family and grows in Wisconsin. It has bright, purple flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

It grows in dry prairies, savannas, dry woods, open areas, and pastures. It prefers full sun to partial shade and can grow up to 4 feet tall.

The Pale Purple Coneflower blooms in late spring and summer. The flower’s outer petals are bright violet, and its inner petals are white. The plant has yellow-brown stems that have hairs on them.

Sweet Joe Pye Weed

This plant’s name refers to its pleasant smell, which resembles that of sweet purple clover. It grows from 2 to 4 feet tall with a single stem covered in soft green, fuzzy leaves.

The flowers grow in clusters at the top of the plant, and they are white or pinkish-white with purple veins running down their length.

In addition to being attractive to bees and other pollinators, Sweet Joe Pye Weed has many other uses: it can be used as an edible vegetable, as a dye for fabrics, as a medicine for stomach ailments including diarrhea and indigestion, or as teas made from its leaves or roots.

Wild Geranium

Wild Geranium is a perennial that grows in rocky areas. It is also called wild rosemary or rough-leaved Geranium. It is great for attracting pollinators to your garden, but remember that these plants are difficult to grow from seed. So be sure to buy them from a reputable source if you want to grow them yourself.

The flowers of wild geraniums can range from white to pink or purple, and they often have interesting patterns on the petals. These flowers come in different shapes and sizes, and some species have more than one flower on each stem.

These plants will bloom throughout spring and summer, with some varieties blooming longer than others. If you live in Wisconsin, you might even get honey bees visiting your flowerbeds.


Butterflyweed is a native of Wisconsin plant that attracts different pollinators.

It grows best from mid-summer to autumn. It can be found throughout the state at low elevations from southern Minnesota to northern Wisconsin.

This plant has a long history of use as food by Native Americans, who roasted the seeds and ate them as a snack. Today it is used medicinally by people of many cultures, including Native Americans, French Canadians, and Midwesterners.

Closed Bottle Gentian

A native plant to Wisconsin’s lowland prairie and hardwood forests, Closed Bottle Gentian is an easy-to-grow perennial with distinctive white flowers. The plant attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators to its blooms. The plants have both male and female flowers. The male flowers are tiny, but they produce ample nectar for bees.

This plant is ideal as a border or groundcover in wooded areas or along stream banks. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and thrives in full or partial sun.

Rattlesnake Master

The Rattlesnake Master is a great option for those who want to attract pollinators but don’t have the space for a large garden. The rattlesnake master is known for its shiny green leaves, which look like they have tiny spikes on them.

These spikes help the plant protect itself from browsing animals like deer and rabbits. The plant also has purple flowers that bloom in late spring and summer.

Dogtooth Daisy

This beautiful flower can be found in just about every garden in Wisconsin, often growing in groups. Because there are so many different varieties, each has its unique color and pattern.

Dogtooth Daisy flowers have three petals that form an open cup shape. Each petal has a long staminal tube on one side with a single stigma on the other side. The stamens are joined at their tips by yellow filaments, which give the flowers their name. Dogtooth Daisies can grow up to 4 inches tall with slightly longer stamens than the pistils.

The colorful fruits appear shortly after flowering and are usually white or pink but may also be yellow or orange, depending on which variety you are growing. Bees love these flowers because they provide them with pollen and nectar.

Lavender Hyssop

Lavender Hyssop is a plant native to Wisconsin that attracts bees and other pollinators. It grows in sandy soil but can also be found on rocky riverbanks. The leaves are lance-shaped, with pointed tips and edges. The flowers have five petals and are white with purple spots around the center. The flower tube has a purple base, while the stamens are yellow or orange.

The plant blooms from May through June, depending on the season. The flowers grow in clusters of three to four flowers per cluster. Lavender Hyssop prefers sunny locations and is drought tolerant once established.

Spotted Beebalm

This plant is native to Wisconsin and can be found in many parts of the state. It has large, showy flowers that bloom in early spring, attracting bees and other pollinators.

The bright white flowers have five petals and come in various colors, including yellow, orange, red, purple and blue. The flower is also very fragrant.

Spotted Beebalm is drought tolerant and grows best in full sun or partial shade. It is also often found growing along streams or other wet areas where it can get some water during dry spells.

This plant needs good drainage so that it does not become waterlogged once planted on soil previously used for gardening purposes.

Purple Prairie Clover

The Purple Prairie Clover is a perennial plant native to Wisconsin. It is also found in other areas of the United States, including the central and southern regions.

The plant has small, purple flowers that bloom from April through July. It grows up to 8 inches tall and thrives in partial shade. This plant attracts bees and other pollinators by releasing an essential oil that mimics the smell of nectar.

Showy Goldenrod

Showy Goldenrod is well known to attract pollinators. The plant has yellow flowers which bloom from May to June. The flowers are up to 3 inches long and have six light green petals with darker veins. The leaves of this plant are also yellow, but they have a slightly hairy texture.

The roots of this plant grow deep into the soil and help to support it. This helps to prevent erosion as well as provide nutrients for other plants. This plant also attracts birds due to its bright colors.


The Wingstem is a great plant for attracting bees and butterflies since it has beautiful flowers. The flowers are purple, but they can also be white or yellow. These flowers grow in clusters that look like wings on the top of the stem. They bloom from June through August, depending on the weather conditions in your area.

The leaves on this plant are heart-shaped and are made up of many small leaflets that grow together into one big leaf. The leaves are also covered with hairs that help them stay moist and green all year round.

The Wingstem is easy to grow if you have access to good soil. You can start by planting seeds in pots or seedlings in your garden space and then transplanting them when they reach an appropriate size for their location (about a foot tall).

The best time to plant this plant is in late spring or early summer before frost hits your area. However, if you live somewhere where winter temperatures never dip below freezing, you can plant any time of year.


Pollinators are a critical factor in pollen distribution, fertilizing many flowering plants. These plants rely on pollinators to reproduce, and they provide food to many animals. We must continue to make plants available for the survival of pollinators while maintaining the natural habitats in which they live.

One thought on “Native Pollinator Plants for Your Wisconsin Garden

  1. This article very interesting and through it found I have many varieties of native plants in my garden. This has always been my goal and I am very pleased. Thank you for the information.

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