CURRANT, Ribes spp.
Also known as gooseberry, these early-blooming shrubs provide valuable sources of pollen and nectar for mason bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Its brightly colored flowers produce edible tart berries that may be eaten dried or in pies, jams, and syrups. It should be planted in full sun. Golden currant, Ribes auream, occurs throughout most of the U.S. and red-flowering currant, R. sanguineum (pictured), is found in the Pacific Coast states and Idaho.
SERVICEBERRY, Amelanchier spp.
Serviceberry is a shrub with an edible fruit, eaten dried and in pies and jams. This used in restoration plantings to provide erosion control and forging resources for birds, mammals, and insects. Very tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. Pacific serviceberry, Amelanchier alnifolia, is found throughout the Pacific Northwest and downy serviceberry, A. arborea, is found throughout eastern North America.
NINEBARK, Physocarpus spp.
These native shrubs are an excellent way to add interesting color, texture and floral resources to your yard. Ninebark provides valuable habitat for birds and small mammals as well as ample pollen for insects. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Pacific ninebark, Physocarpus capitatus, occurs in the Pacific coastal states and Idaho. Common ninebark, P. opulifolius, occurs throughout the midwestern and eastern U.S.
MAPLE, Acer spp.
Maple trees are a dominant feature of plant communities across North America. Most maple trees bloom in late winter or early spring and are an important source of pollen and nectar for early-flying bees. Maples support wildlife by providing foraging resources and canopy structure. Bigleaf maple, Acer macrophyllum, occurs primarily in the Pacific Coastal region. Rocky mountain maple, A. glabrum, occurs in mountain regions in the western U.S. Sugar maple, A. saccharum, and silver maple, A. saccharinum, occur throughout the eastern U.S.
OREGON GRAPE, Mahonia spp.
Bright yellow mahonia flowers are a great source of late winter nectar for early emerging bumblebees and mason bees. This hardy shrub can be a good addition to lowland planting and can grow in a wide variety of conditions. Plant in full sun to partial shade. The native range of tall Oregon grade, Mahonia aquifolium, is scattered, occurring in several western and eastern states. Low Oregon grape, M. repens, has a large range throughout the western U.S.
Grows delicious edible berries, this shrub is often used to combat overgrowth of invasive Himalayan blackberry. Not only important just for mason bees, salmon berry provides early nectar sources for bumblebees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Salmonberry grows well in full to partial shade and can be used to stabilize eroded soils. The native range of salmonberry is limited to the Pacific coastal states and Idaho.
INDIAN PLUM, OEMLERIA CERASIFORMIS
Often flowering in the late winter season, this species is incredible important for early emerging pollinators. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and easily adapts to many different soil types. It can grow in shrub or small tree form and can be found from B.C. to the Willamette Valley.
WILD CHERRY, Prunus spp.
Prunus is a diverse group of trees and shrubs which includes many fruits we eat, such as cherry, almond, plum, peach, and apricot. There are also many wild cherry species native to the U.S. that are an important component of riparian forests. Cherries are an important pollen and nectar source for spring-flying mason bees, bumble bees, and miner bees. Their fruits also feed a variety of birds and mammals. Choke cherry, Prunus virginiana, is found throughout the entire U.S. Bitter cherry, P. emerginata, occurs exclusively in the western U.S. and black cherry, P. serotina, occurs in the midwestern and eastern U.S.
ELDERBERRY, Sambucus spp.
Another early blooming plant, red elderberry produces clusters of small white flowers. This thicket-forming shrub provides important habitat and food for wildlife and are the larval host plants for several species of moths. Small carpenter bees, Ceratina spp., create nests from live, pithy stems and mason bees may use dead, hollowed stems for their nests. It tolerates full sun to partial shade. Red elderberry, Sambucus racemosa, and black elderberry, S. canadensis, is found throughout the U.S.