Good Plants For Pollinators in SF Bay

Hi I am looking for native plants to attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds, preferably native. I am looking to attract the most species possible but I also want to put in plants that’ll help endangered/important species (important as in keystone). I live along the SF bay in San Mateo, and if anyone has some good suggestions send em over.

One good place to start would be with the Xerces Society’s pollinator plant lists.

The Yerba Buena chapter of the California Native Plant Society covers San Francisco and northern San Mateo counties and has a bunch of resources for gardening with native plants. The Santa Clara Valley CNPS chapter covers southern San Mateo county and also has a native plant gardening resources page that includes info on hummingbird plants and butterfly gardening.

The state-level CNPS site also has a bunch of useful stuff. There’s a page with native planting guides for each area. CNPS is also behind the Calscape online database. This allows you to search for plants that match your site and criteria. For example you can search for 3 ft tall, pink, spring-flowering butterfly host plants native to San Mateo. Once you have found some candidates, Calscape shows you a bunch of info about each one, including which native plant nurseries have them in stock.


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