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List of Honey Bee Forage Species within Region 2 for the State of CA

Ordered by Begin Bloom Month

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USDA codeFamilyLatin NameCommon NamePlant TypeBegin Bloom MonthEnd Bloom MonthSig
ALNUSBetulaceaeAlnus Mill.AlderTDB16N
ERODIGeraniaceaeErodiumFilaree, heron's bill, storkbill, pin-clover, alfileria, clocksF28N
ARCTO3EricaceaeArctostaphylosManzanita, bearberryS25N
SALIXSalicaceaeSalixWillow, osierTDB28N
CERCI2FabaceaeCercisRedbud, judas treeTDB34N
ARMEEricaceaeArbutus menziesiiArbutus, maddrona, madrone, madronoTEB35N
ODHALiliaceaeOdontostomum hartwegiiHartweg's odonstomanF45N
TOXICAnacardiaceaeToxicodendronPoison ivy, oakS45N
RUBUSRosaceaeRubusBlackberryS, C47Y
MESAFabaceaeMedicago sativaAlfalfa, lucerneC510Y
ASCLEAsclepiadaceaeAsclepiasMilkweed, butterfly flowerF57N
ERAN2HydrophyllaceaeEriodictyon angustifoliumYerba santa, mountain-balmF58N
ERIOGPolygonaceaeEriogonumWild buckwheat, umbrella plantF510N
MELILFabaceaeMelilotusSweet clover (white/yellow)F510N
SYMPHSymphoricarposSymphoricarposSnowberry, wolfberry, waxberry,F58N
VICIAFabaceaeViciaVetch, tareF58N
CENTAAsteraceaeCentaureaStar thistle, knapweedF610Y
HEAR5RosaceaeHeteromeles arbutifoliaChristmas berryF67N
MENTHLamiaceaeMenthaMintF, C610N
AECAHippocastanaceaeAesculus californicaCalifornia buckeye, horse chestnutTDB67N
LOAN2FabaceaeLotus corniculatusBird's foot trefoilF99N

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Plant Type codes:

Sig column

      T    - tree
    TDB - tree, deciduous broadleaf
    TEN - tree, evergreen needleleaf
    TEB - tree, evergreen broadleaf
      S    - shrub
    SEB - shrub, evergreen broadleaf
    SDB - shrub, deciduous broadleaf
      V    - vine
    VDB - vine, deciduous broadleaf
      G    - grass
      F    - forb (herbaceous flowering plants, non-woody)
      C    - crops/cultivated
   This column indicates whether or not the species is considered a very important nectar source species within the state and region selected. If it is a significant source, it is indicated here with a 'Y' and the row is highlighted.

In this context, important is defined by Ayers and Harman as those species that "reliably produce a large percent of the harvested honey" within the selected region.


 For those wishing to see more detailed information about any species in the list, please visit the USDA PLANTS Database web site and search by any of the first three columns from the table.

This output was derived from content created by Ayers and Harman, and published as Chapter 11 "Bee Forage of North America and the Potential for Planting for Bees" from the book The Hive and the Honey Bee, 1992, Graham, J. ed. Dadant and Sons Inc. Hamilton, Illinois.
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Last Updated: February 1, 2024