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Bee Plants

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Bee Plants

Honeybees and their many relatives make life sweet for us. Without bees many of our favorite foods and flowers would not be available. From apples to ornamentals to zuchinni, we rely on bees for pollination. According to the USDA, one-third of our diet is made possible by insect pollinators, and approximately 80 percent of that pollination is due to bees. By planting long blooming, drought-resistant Salvias and other flowering plants favored by honeybees and other species of the family Apidae, home gardeners can provide the nectar and pollen that these tiny pollinators need to survive.

Drought is causing shortages of many flowering plants on which bees survive. Food loss, both through drought and climate change, is one of many factors that bee researchers say is likely contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious malady that weakens honeybees and causes their destruction. The Natural Resources Defense Council notes that bee researchers began documenting this problem in America around 2006.

The Häagen-Daz Honey Bee Haven of the University of California, Davis, in July 2014 reported that "few plants show their value as bee plants for hot, dry gardens better than the salvias." UC Davis even includes red-flowering species among its bee favorites, although some bee researchers say that bees mostly can't see reds.

Many factors affect the predilections of honeybees, including markings on flowers -- sometimes called "beelines" -- that guide bees to the pollen and nectar they need. Unlike humans who can't see colors in the ultra-violet range, bees see UV colors including markings invisible to people but acting like lit-up runways for insects. Perhaps this characteristic enables them to access red flowers.

This list offers honeybee favorites in many colors grown at Flowers by the Sea.

Plants


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Blaze'

    (Heatwave Red Mountain Sage) Compact and small, this Mountain Sage is another fine groundcover for Southern California, the Southwest and Texas. Similar to Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer', it not only survives but thrives in extreme heat.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Brilliance'

    (Brilliance Pink Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Brilliance' produces prolific quantities of deep reddish-pink, or cerise, blossoms along with dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer'

    (Glimmering White Mountain Sage) Heatwave Glimmer isn't a mirage. It is a Salvia microphylla that tolerates extremely hot climates as well as cooler regions. It doesn't just survive; it thrives in the heat of Southern California, the Southwest and Texas.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Radiance'

    (Radiance Bright Pink Mountain Sage) Long blooming Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Radiance' produces prolific quantities of hot pink blossoms along with dense, mid-green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Scorcher'

    (Scorching Pink Mountain Sage) Compact and small, this Mountain Sage is another fine groundcover for Southern California, the Southwest and Texas. Similar to Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer', it not only survives but thrives in extreme heat.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Honey Rose'

    (Honey Rose Mountain Sage) So dark that they almost seem black, the stems of this Mountain Sage add drama to flowers the color of creamy tomato soup. The lush, mid-green foliage has distinctive ribbing and is stiffly upright; it makes a strong statement when grouped with soft, rounded Salvias.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

    (Hot Lips Sage) What a winner for fascinating flowers! Hot Lips Sage has solid red, solid white and two-tone combinations all on the same plant and often at the same time.The variations are random. You might say that this shrubby sage is mixed-up, but its confused coloring makes it highly desirable.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry'

    (Killer Cranberry Mountain Sage) Masses of magenta flowers on tall spikes lure honeybees and hummingbirds to the rich nectar of Salvia microphylla 'Killer Cranberry'. Its prolific flowers are a killer attraction for people too.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia microphylla 'La Trinidad Pink'

    (Trinity Mountain Sage) Heat and drought tolerant, this Salvia microphylla is native to Northeastern Mexico where summers are dry and temperatures can rise to more than 100 degrees F. It can survive winter temperatures down to 0 degrees.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Mesa Azure'

    (Azure Hybrid Sage) Despite its name, the flowers of this tiny hybrid aren't really blue. They are a light purple. Due to its size, long bloom time, heat tolerance and drought resistance, Salvia x 'Mesa Azure' is a fine groundcover for areas where summers are hot and dry.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Orange Door'

    (Big Orange Mountain Sage) When temperatures are cooler in spring and fall, the persimmon-orange flowers of this large Mountain Sage darken. Gray-green foliage, deep red calyxes and reddish-green stems add to the plant's fascinating look, which mixes well with yellows and blues.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'People's Park'

    (People's Park Mountain Sage) Sometimes nature can be rebellious. This is one the Mountain Sages known as the Turbulent Sixties Series developed from an outlaw cultivar of the Southwestern native Salvia microphylla. Monterey Bay Nursery (MBN) named their accidental hybrid ‘Berzerkeley.’

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Red Velvet'

    (Red Velvet Mountain Sage) This is one of the most intense red-flowering variety of Mountain Sage we grow. Medium-sized flowers are profuse on this large, vigorous plant -- particularly in spring and fall. Dark stems and calyxes intensify the plant's drama along with glossy green foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Rosie O' Grady'

    (Rosie O'Grady Mountain Sage) Honeybees and hummingbirds love the large, bright pink flowers of Salvia microphylla 'Rosie O'Grady', a drought-resistant sage. Dense and fragrant, it's large, glossy green leaves are veined and have finely serrated edges. This is a lush choice for dry gardens.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Royal Bumble'

    (Royal Bumble Mountain Sage) Almost black, the stems and calyxes of this UK hybrid form a pleasing contrast with its medium-size scarlet flowers and glossy green leaves. Bloom time is spring to fall. This Mountain Sage suckers freely and forms a dense clump.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'

    (St. Charles Day Mountain Sage) Especially in spring and fall, masses of red-violet flowers bloom amid the silvery green foliage of Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'. Put this one into the "must have" column.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Telegraph Avenue'

    (Telegraph Avenue Dwarf Mountain Sage) Here’s another member of the Turbulent Sixties Series of Southwestern Mountain Sages (Salvia microphylla), which developed from one of nature’s rebels – an accidental hybrid that Monterey Bay Nursery (MBN) named ‘Berzerkeley’ after finding it taking a stand in the nursery’s gravel paving.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Variegata'

    (Variegated Mirto de Montes Sage) Over the years, we have seen a number of variegated varieties of Mountain Sage. None have been as lovely and sturdy as this one, from botanist Brent Barnes of the University of California at Riverside.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla 'Wild Watermelon'

    (Wild Watermelon Mountain Sage) Large, watermelon-pink flowers and the fruity fragrance of this long-blooming sage's mid-green, veined leaves make this Mountain Sage a treat to grow.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia microphylla var. neurepia

    (Big Leaf Mountain Sage) Nothing is little about this plant even though "microphylla" means "little leaf." The rough, wrinkly leaves are often 3 inches long and almost 2 inches wide. The pinkish-orange flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia munzii

    (Munz's Sage) Densely branched and extremely fragrant, this drought-resistant shrub is named for botanist Philip Munz (1892-1974) of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and Pomona College. It is native to northern Baja California and the coastal mountains of San Diego.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia nemorosa 'Blau Hügel'

    (Blau Hügel Meadow Sage) When in bloom, petite Salvia nemorosa 'Blue Hill' more than doubles in height. Its tall, spike-like racemes of violet-blue flowers are so dense and compact that this woodland sage is sometimes called "Blue Mound."

    9.00
     


  • Salvia nemorosa 'Burgundy Candles'

    (Burgundy Candles Meadow Sage) When the burgundy buds of Salvia nemorosa 'Burgundy Candles' open, deep violet-blue flowers emerge. They are supported by burgundy and green bracts on purple stems.

    9.50
     


  • Salvia nemorosa 'Lyrical Silvertone'

    (Lyrical Silvertone Meadow Sage) European Meadow Sages are known for their intense color. However, Salvia nemorosa 'Lyrical Silvertone' is exceptional for its violet-blue and silver two-tone flowers supported by dark calyxes.

    9.50
     


  • Salvia pitcheri grandiflora

    (Big Pitcher Sage) As its scientific name indicates, this sage has very large flowers. They are almost two-tone, changing from deep violet to a light blue or white at their base where they are cupped by dusky purple calyxes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia praeclara

    (Bolivian Sage) From early Spring to first frost, brilliant scarlet flowers on spikes up to 18 inches long adorn this Bolivian native in USDA Zones 9 to 11. Even if you live in a zone with colder winters, Bolivian Sage is spectacular as a bedding plant. has been called Salvia coccinea on steroids due to its .  needs rich, well-drained soil and full sun - but will grow in a wide range of soil, water and light conditions.

    8.00
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Indigo'

    (Indigo Meadow Sage) When massed, this European sage compels attention during summer with its upright, foot-long spikes of deep violet-blue flowers and hairy, gray-green, basal foliage.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia pratensis 'Lapis Lazuli'

    (Lapis Lazuli Meadow Sage) Ethereal, lilac-pink, parrot-shaped blossoms abound on the tall flower spikes of this Salvia pratensis cultivar. So don’t expect a blue as the name indicates, but do expect great beauty during summer bloom time.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia pseudococcinea

    (False Tropical Sage) Sometimes plant naming is complicated. Such is the case with Salvia pseudococcinea, which is known by a number of scientific and common names. Sometimes it is called Salvia coccinea var. pseudococcinea.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia Raspberry Delight®

    (Raspberry Delight Sage) Dark raspberry-red flowers, burgundy stems and calyxes and deep green foliage make this one of our most attention-grabbing varieties.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia reptans

    (West Texas Grass Sage) Small clusters of true blue flowers are spaced widely along the grass-like stems of this airy West Texas mountain sage. Like so many American native plants, it is a key food source for honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia reptans 'Autumn Sapphire'

    (Autumn Sapphire West Texas Grass Sage) Butterflies and honeybees particularly favor this West Texas mountain native. In contrast to the true blue flowers of regular Salvia reptans, this cultivar has deep blue blossoms and is remarkably compact.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia reptans 'Summer Skies'

    (Summer Skies West Texas Grass Sage) Butterflies and honeybees particularly favor this West Texas mountain native. In contrast to the true blue flowers of regular Salvia reptans, this cultivar has purple blossoms with cloud-like, lavender-to-white throats.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia sclarea 'Wild Form'

    (Clary or Clear Eye Sage or Eyebright) Pink-purple bracts and violet-purple flowers form a pastel cloud over the large, rumpled leaves of Clary Sage in summer. It is a towering beauty growing up to 5 feet tall. Sacred to some due to age-old use in herbal remedies, it is heavenly to look at.

    9.50
     


  • Salvia sclarea var turkestanica 'Piemont'

    (Italian Clary Sage) Clary Sages are well known for their use in folk remedies, aromatherapy and cosmetics. Glowing purple bracts frame the spectacular white blooms of this cultivar on 5-foot-tall spikes. It is a delight for honeybees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

    9.00
     


  • Salvia semiatrata

    (Pine Mountain Sage) Small but numerous, violet and deep purple flowers surrounded by pink bracts are sprinkled throughout this well-branched,shrubby sage like confections. This is one of the showiest Salvias we grow.

    11.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Plant is doing well but not yet the showy plant described. Providing great late summer color and survived a week of 100+ temps without any attention.
Ms. linda allen
Sep 7, 2017