Midwest Region Endangered Species Conserving the nature of America

Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)

Plants Favored By Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

PDF of Plant List

PDF of Midwest Plant Guide


This list includes the following:

  • main plant species that the rusty patched bumble bee has been documented using,
  • plant genera that include the previous plants and related species within the specific geographic range (e.g., Great Plains), and
  • to ensure blooms that span the seasons, we included a few other species that we know are favored generally by bumble bees. 

We acknowledge that not all plants on this list are native to the geographic area identified. However we have not included known invasive species.


If you wish to include more native plant species that are generally recommended for bumble bees in your area, additional lists can be found at: http://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/plant-lists/ or http://pollinator.org/guides#zip.


If you are interested in maintaining a bee-friendly lawn in addition to a bee-friendly garden, see: https://www.beelab.umn.edu/sites/beelab.umn.edu/files/floweringlawninfoenrtflogo.pdf


* Superfood plants produce nectar that is rich in amino acids, a secondary source of protein for adult and larval bumble bees.
! Immune building plants are known to help build bumble bee immune systems.

    Great Plains
MN, IA, and MO
Great Lakes
Northeast and

Scientific Name

Common Name


Summer May-Aug


Spring Mar-Apr

Summer May-Aug


Spring      Mar-Apr

Summer May-Aug


Herbaceous Plants

Agastache spp

Native giant hyssop species *

  x     x     x

Asclepias spp

Milkweed species

  x     x     x

Baptisia alba

Wild white indigo

  x     x   x

Baptisia bracteata

Cream indigo

  x     x    

Cirsium  discolor

Native field thistle

  x x   x x   x x

Cirsium muticum 

Native swamp thistle

  x x   x x   x x

Dalea candida

White prairie clover *

  x     x    

Dalea purpurea

Purple prairie clover *

  x     x    

Primula spp

Shooting star species

x   x x   x

Echinacea spp

Coneflower species *

  x     x     x

Eutrochium spp

Joe Pye weed *

  x     x     x

Gentiana spp

Gentian species

  x x   x x   x

Geranium maculatum

Wild geranium

x x   x x   x

Hydrophyllum virginianum

Virginia waterleaf

x x   x x   x

Impatiens capensis


  x     x     x

Liatris spp

Blazing-star species

  x     x     x

Lupinus perennis

Wild lupine

x x   x x   x

Monarda fistulosa

Bee balm/wild bergamot *!

  x     x     x

Pedicularis canadensis

Wood betony

x x   x x   x

Penstemon digitalis

Smooth penstemon


Penstemon grandiflorus

Large-flowered penstemon

  x     x    

Pycnanthemum virginianum

Mountain mint

  x     x     x

Solidago speciosa

Showy goldenrod *

  x x   x  

Solidago spp 

Goldenrod species *

  x x   x   x

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

New England aster *

  x x   x   x

Veronicastrum virginicum

Culver’s root

  x     x     x  
Woody Plants

Amelanchier spp


x   x x x

Amorpha canescens

Leadplant *

  x   x  

Ceanothus americanus

New Jersey tea

  x   x   x

Cephalanthus occidentalis


  x   x   x

Diervilla lonicera

Dwarf bush honeysuckle

  x   x   x

Prunus spp

Plums and cherries

x x   x x x x

Ribes spp

Gooseberry and currants

x   x x

Rosa spp

Wild roses

  x   x x

Salix spp


x   x x

Spirea spp


  x     x x

Tilia americana

American basswood

  x   x   x

Vaccinium  macrocarpon

Large cranberry !

  x     x     x  


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