Plants for native bees

Want to attract native bees to your garden? Find out which plants they love the best.

Plants for buzz pollinators

Common nameScientific name
CassiaSenna species
Velvet bushLasiopetalum species
Guinea flowersHibbertia species
Flax liliesDianella species
Chocolate / vanilla liliesArthropodium species
Fringe liliesThysanotus species
Black-eyed SusanTetratheca pilosa

Plants for all other native bees

Common nameScientific name
Gum treeEucalyptus species
Bottle brushCallistemon species such as C. sieberi
WattleAcacia species
Honey myrtleMelaleuca species such as M. decussata
Tea treeLeptospermum species
Christmas bushBursaria spinosa
Emu bushEremophila species
CullenCullen australasicum
StemodiaStemodia floribundum
Australian bugleAjuga australis
Bush peas*Pultenaea species, Daviesia species, Gompholobium species, Indigofera australis, Platylobium obtusangulum and Eutaxia microphylla
Native lilac (climber)Hardenbergia violaceae
DaisyOlearia species, Helichrysum species and Vittadinia species
GoodeniaGoodenia species such as G. ovata, G albiflora and G. blackiana
BoobiallaMyoporum species
Fan flowerScaevola species
Australian bluebellWahlenbergia species
Native flaxLinum marginale

* These can attract native pea bees, which rely completely on bush peas.

Blue banded bee Amegilla chlorocyanea 1 Jeremy Gramp - Green Adelaide
Blue banded bee 6 Jeremy Gramp - Green Adelaide
Blue Banded Bee Martin Stokes - Green Adelaide

Blue-banded bees. Photos: Jeremy Gramp and Martin Stokes.

Recipe for success

Native bees generally like white, yellow, blue and purple flowers the best. However, some flowers provide nectar only, others pollen only, so it’s important to have a range of plants.

Different bee species are active at different times of the year, so it’s also important to offer flowers from late winter until autumn. Plant smaller plants in large clumps. It is visually more attractive, and it allows bees to easily find what they need.

Woolly New Holland daisy (Vittadinnia gracillis)
Woolly New Holland daisy (Vittadinnia gracilis).

Main image courtesy of Jeremy Gramp.