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List of Honey Bee Forage Species within Region 3 for the State of CA

Ordered by Begin Bloom Month

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USDA codeFamilyLatin NameCommon NamePlant TypeBegin Bloom MonthEnd Bloom MonthSig
BRASS2BrassicaceaeBrassicamustardC19N
ARCTO3EricaceaeArctostaphylosManzanita, bearberryS15Y
ALNUSBetulaceaeAlnus Mill.AlderTDB14N
SALIXSalicaceaeSalixWillow, osierTDB16N
PRUNURosaceaePrunusPlum (cultivated)C22N
RASA2BrassicaceaeRaphanus sativusRadishC26N
ERODIGeraniaceaeErodiumFilaree, heron's bill, storkbill, pin-clover, alfileria, clocksF26N
ESCACPapaveraceaeEschscholzia californicaCalifornia poppyF29N
SCCACScrophulariaceaeScrophularia californicaFigwort, California honey plantF27N
RHUSAnacardiaceaeRhusSumac, sugar bush, lemonade berryS25N
PRDURosaceaePrunus dulcisAlmondTDB, C23N
AMSINBoraginaceaeAmsinckiaAmsinckia, leather breeches, fire weed, fiddle-neck, tarweedF36N
LIDODLimanthaceaeLimnanthes douglasiiMeadow foamF35N
LOTUSFabaceaeLotusDeer-vetch, wild alfalfaF39N
TRERE2ScrophulariaceaeOrthocarpus erianthusJohnny-tuck, butter and eggsF35N
SALVILamiaceaeSalviaSage, romonaF, C37Y
CEANORhamnaceaeCeanothusNewJersey tea, redroot, wild-lilac, buck-brushS36N
RHAMNRhamnaceaeRhamnusBuckthornS37N
RUBUSRosaceaeRubusBlackberryS, C37N
CERCI2FabaceaeCercisRedbud, judas treeTDB34N
PRAVRosaceaePrunusCherry (cultivated)TDB,C33N
ARMEEricaceaeArbutus menziesiiArbutus, maddrona, madrone, madronoTEB35N
CITRU2RutaceaeCitrusCitrusTEB, C35Y
ALCELiliaceaeAllium cepaOnionC45N
ERIOGPolygonaceaeEriogonumWild buckwheat, umbrella plantF411N
ODHALiliaceaeOdontostomum hartwegiiHartweg's odonstomanF45N
VICIAFabaceaeViciaVetch, tareF47N
ADSPRosaceaeAdenostoma fasciculatumChamise, greasewoodS46N
AMELARosaceaeAmelanchierService-berry, juneberry, shadbushS46N
FRPU7RhamnaceaeRhamnus purshianaSagrada, bearberry, cascaraS46N
GASHEricaceaeGaultheria shallonSalal, shallonS47N
STOF4StyracaceaeStyrax officinalisSnowdrop bush, styrax, storaxS45N
TOXICAnacardiaceaeToxicodendronPoison ivy, oakS45N
RUCO4RosaceaeRubusRaspberryS,C47N
CILALCucurbitaceaeCitrullus lanatuswatermelonC58N
CUCURCucurbitaceaeCucurbita L.Pumpkin, squash, gourdC58N
CUMECucurbitaceaeCucumis meloCantaloupe, muskmelon, casaba,C58N
MESAFabaceaeMedicago sativaAlfalfa, lucerneC59Y
ASCLEAsclepiadaceaeAsclepiasMilkweed, butterfly flowerF58N
CENTAAsteraceaeCentaureaStar thistle, knapweedF510Y
ERAN2HydrophyllaceaeEriodictyon angustifoliumYerba santa, mountain-balmF57N
LAPLAsteraceaeLayia platyglossaTidy tipsF56N
MELILFabaceaeMelilotusSweet clover (white/yellow)F59N
AECAHippocastanaceaeAesculus californicaCalifornia buckeye, horse chestnutTDB56N
HEAR5RosaceaeHeteromeles arbutifoliaChristmas berryF67N
HELIA3AsteraceaeHelianthusSunflowerF610N
MENTHLamiaceaeMenthaMintF, C610N
CEOC2RubiaceaeCephalanthus occidentalisButtonbrushS68N
GOSSYMalvaceaeGossypiumCottonC79N
CATIAsteraceaeCarthamus tinctoriusSafflower, false saffronF78N
TRICH9LamiaceaeTrichostemaBlue curlsF710N
EUCALMyrtaceaeEucalyptusEucalypt, gum tree, ironbark, stringybarkTEB127N

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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 Ayers and Harman, Chapter 11 (Bee Forage of North America and the Potential for Planting for Bees) of The Hive and the Honey Bee, 1992, Graham, J. ed. Dadant and Sons Inc. Hamilton, Illinois.
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Last Updated: November 21, 2016