Rocky Mountain Beeplant
A Great Pollinator Plant!
Masses of bright blooms draw butterflies and bees to the ample nectar of this quick growing western native. The flowers of Rocky Mountain Beeplant are elongated clusters of pink to lavender along tall stems. Soak this very hard seed in warm water for about 48 hours prior to planting in sandy soil. Do not let seed dry out during germination.
Rate: 1 oz./100 sq.ft
Bloom time: July – August
Pkt weight: 1 gm (approx. 60 seeds)
Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Bee Spider Flower)
Cleome species are annuals that are excellent to use for pollinator gardens and in re-vegetation mixes, especially in post-wildfire areas to help sustain native pollinator communities. Bees and other pollinators are highly attracted to the copious nectar rich flowers of this plant and the seeds are loved by various bird species. These annuals bloom quickly and with long duration and are used by a diverse array of native bees, wasps and butterflies as well as managed agri-pollinators such as Apis mellifera (Honey Bee) and Megachile rotundata (Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee).
This tall, bright pink-purple species was first noticed August 25, 1804 in Vermillion, SD and classified during the Lewis and Clark expedition. A native to areas of the U.S. and Canada, this is an important cultural plant for the Southwest Indian tribes. The leaves were boiled for food and used to treat stomach aches and the seeds were dried and ground to meal or mixed with flour to make bread or tortillas during times of drought. In fact, this species is also called “Navajo Spinach” or “Waa” for the highly nutritious tender shoots and leaves that are boiled and eaten. Just ½ cup contains more than 4 times the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A and also high in Calcium. Extracts are made from the leaves and from the entire plant and used for yellow-green dyes and black resin for decorating pottery.
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant is a hardy, annual, 2-5 foot tall plant with racemes of bright, pink to purplish, 4-petal flowers with long slender stamens that extend beyond the petals. The seed pods are long (3”), hairy and hang downward on the stalk. The alternate leaves are veined and divided into three leaflets or lobes. Bee Plant can be found along roads, meadows, foothills or rangelands and requires medium moisture with well-drained soil and can tolerate semi-shaded areas and is often used to rehabilitate western range lands.