Bloom Forward

Transform marginalized land into vibrant and self-sustaining habitats for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Help establish large native wildflower meadows that bloom from Early Spring through Late Autumn to provide needed nectar and pollen with nesting and overwintering sites.


Free Seeds

We help distribute free native wildflower seeds to provide excellent sources of pollen and nectar for struggling pollinators. Grow in full sun in large groupings alongside other selected varieties that collectively bloom from Early Spring to Late Autumn. Plant a flowerbed or pollinator meadow.

Join us and share tomorrow the seeds you grow today. It’s easy. Label small envelopes with the common name, scientific name, address to this website, and the seed harvest date. We use self-inking stamps to swiftly label our envelopes. Once labeled, enclose seeds harvested from your garden, seal the envelope flap, and share your packets with your community.


Show flowers for:

Antelope Horns Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the Monarch Butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to Monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias asperula subsp. capricornu — Robust flower heads mature into unique horn-shaped seedpods on this early-blooming Texas milkweed that proves invaluable to Monarch butterflies migrating north for the summer. Milkweeds are the only plants the butterflies will lay their eggs upon and the only leaves the caterpillars will eat due to their immunity to the plant’s toxins which bioaccumulates in and protects them from predators. The host plant repels deer but can harm curious pets, livestock, and children and should be planted away from their access. Flowers bloom all summer long with deadheading, one plant at a time, to feed adult butterflies, bees, and birds with its energy-packed nectar. Preferring rocky, well-draining soil, do not expect flowers or seeds in the first year while this perennial establishes itself.

Aromatic Aster

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium — With balsam-scented flowers and leaves when handled, these nearly indestructible ornamental flowers thrive in very dry, rocky soils where they have little competition. One of the last blooms of the season, blooming well after the first frost, the masses of violet-blue rays from amber-colored disks that shift to reddish purple and are a much needed food source for butterflies such as the Silvery Checkerspot and periodically attracts wild turkeys. The top-heavy plant can splay open but early Summer pruning will keep the plant thick.

Azure Blue Sage

Salvia azurea — Also called Pitcher Sage after Doctor Zina Pitcher, a 19th century army field surgeon, this threatened species has many medicinal properties in additional to being highly attractive to bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with its densely-packed, two-lipped, intense-blue flowers that individually blossom throughout the season. With deep roots up to 8’ long, this prairie flower prefers drier soil. Although its squared stem is strong, avoid fertilizers and position this sage against a fence for bracing, or prune half-height in Spring to promote bushiness.

Baby Blue Eyes

Nemophila menziesii — Aswim in color, these five-petal true-blue flowers are one of the first to bloom once Winter has melted and are perfect for ground coverings, rock gardens, and hanging baskets. Favored by Victorians, succulent leaves and stems allow this easy-to-grow hardy annual to survive moderate droughts before self-seeding in mulch-free environments for next year. The soft-hued flowers prefer full sun but need protection from afternoon heat to prevent wilting. Pinch new growth tips to force bushiness and deadhead flowers to prolong the blooms for the bees and butterflies.

Baldwin’s Ironweed

Vernonia baldwinii — With loose flower clusters reminiscent of magenta-tipped paint brushes, this sunflower cousin is named for its toughness. An excellent backdrop, this perennial is best in meadows where large colonies can be appreciated. Vibrant flowers bloom until frost and are popular with long-tongued bees and sulfur butterflies but the bitter lance-shaped leaves are unpalatable to livestock and deer.

Bigleaf Lupine

Lupinus polyphyllus — Stately spikes of blue and purple prove popular with bumblebees and hummingbirds and thrive in poor, but moist, soils. Garden varieties can also be red, pink, white, or multicolored, but require division as seeds never sow true and dominate bluish-purple genes become evident over time. Garden varieties are often highly poisonous with bitter alkaloids but sweet cultivars are popular livestock fodder while also enhancing soil with its nitrogen fixing abilities. Seeds remain viable for more than 50 years and plants are resilient when established, dried seeds need 12 hours of stepping in water just brought to a boil for increased germination rates. Brought to England from North America by famed botanist David Douglass, this perennial is a staple in English gardens, but care is required to prevent invasiveness in non-native locations.

Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta — One of America’s most beloved wildflowers, Black-Eyed Susans serve as the official state flower for Maryland and inspired the University of Southern Mississippi colors. The flowers are popular with short and long-tongued pollinators, the leaves are an important food for Silvery Checkerspot butterfly larva, and the seeds are feasted upon by goldfinches. The chocolaty-centered discs emanate bright yellow rays to humans but appear as three-ringed bull’s eyes to pollinators as demonstrated by botanists in 1969 who used the flower as the primary subject in ultraviolet light research highlighting the nectar guiding markings. While it shares the same moniker with other flowers, likely from a 1720s poem of a black-eyed woman searching for her Sweet William, its prestigious botanical name that uniquely identifies the plant honors Olof Rudbeck, the teacher of Carl Linnaeus who created the botanical naming convention. The flowers flourish in wide ranges of soils, except poorly draining soils, and tolerates drought due to copious root hairs that excel at water absorption while also controlling erosion. The flower may act as an annual in some places but typically develops in the first season and flowering in the second before freely self-seeding with seeds that remain viable for decades. A poultice from this flower was used by the Chippewas for snake bites and the Menominee and Pottawatomie used this medicinal herb as a diuretic.

Blanketflower

Gaillardia pulchella — Add a splash of color to your garden or meadow with the vivid reds, oranges, and yellows of Blanketflowers that form thick blanket-like colonies on the ground. The hardy state wildflower of Oklahoma thrives in heat and dryness and can bloom year round in some places. Bees love the firewheel-esque flower and make a buttery-rich honey from the nectar while goldfinches love the seeds which freely self-sow if fallen on bare ground, but typically will not germinate if fallen on mulch. While the plant quickly loses symmetry after flowering and flops as gravity dictates, leggy plants can be trimmed to stimulate new growth.

Blue Vervain

Verbena hastata — With candelabra-like flowers that can last three months, this flower attracts many bees and hummingbirds. The plant hosts Common Buckeye butterflies and feeds cardinals, sparrows, and juncos with its seeds. Mammals usually avoid the bitter greens, except for cottontail rabbits which feed on the young foliage. Thriving in wet soil, colonies can form from slowly spreading rhizomes and self-seeding. While scent-free, Blue Vervains make excellent companion plants alongside fragrant Boneset and Joe Pye Weed.

Boneset

Eupatorium perfoliatum — Blossoms of snow bloom late-season and grow tall with small florets and white petals making clean breaks above its leaves in partially shady and bright patches. Highly-accessible nectar attracts many Lepidoptera butterflies while bitter foliage deter pests. Perfect for rain gardens, Boneset thrives in moist and organic-rich soil. Introduced to the colonists by indigenous Americans for Dengue fever, cold, and flu treatments, this medicinal perennial was also thought to aid broken bones and had its leaves incorporated into splint bandages. This belief stemmed from the distinctive fused leaves that appear pierced by cylindrical stalks, while no longer used to set bones, this unique shape gave rise to the species name perfoliatum—to pierce. Still, this herbaceous herb has a rich medical past as showcased its other names to include agueweed and feverwort. The flower is easily propagated by seed and can be trimmed in early Spring to promote bushier growth.

Bottle Gentian

Gentiana andrewsii — In a purpetual state of bud, this slow growing flower make bumbleees and other strong insects work for their nectar by requiring them to force their way inside blue bottle shapped petals that never open. Possibily due to its inacessibility along with erratic seed germination and high seed mortality, this flower is listed as threatened in New York and Maryland. Once established, however, this unique flower is long lived, requires little care, and will grow into large groupings if provided with moist, temperate, and partially shady conditions. Large groupings, or planted alongside Prairie Blazing Star and New England Aster where native, help keep individual plants upright despite the weight from the buds. The species name honors Henry Charles Andrews, an accomplished botanical artist, and cataloged by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, a biologist twice rejected by Thomas Jefferson for the Lewis & Clark Expedition to save costs by having Meriwether Lewis trained to act as a botanist.

Butterfly Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the Monarch Butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to Monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias tuberosa — While slow to grow and may take three years before the flowers blooms, Butterfly Milkweed rewards its gardeners with many years of bright tangerine-orange flowers covered in butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees who come to drink the flowers heavy with nectar and pollen. Once classified as a noxious weed due to toxic effect on livestock, there were efforts to eradicate this vital larval host plant that Monarch, Queens, and Grey Hairstreak Butterflies depend on. Butterfly Milkweed will inevitably have an aphid problem which can serve as a buffet for ladybugs or can be safely removed by spraying the aphids and foliage with soapy water. While officially a milkweed, Butterfly Milkweed lacks the milky sap that can irritate skin. Grow in sunny spots in almost any well-draining soil from seed and deadhead to stimulate another bloom cycle about a month after the first. Butterfly Milkweed is not related to Butterfly Bush (Buddleja sp.) which we discourage in American and Canadian gardens.

Calico Aster

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum — Veiled in delicate white flowers with creamy centers that transition to plum, the easy to grow forb provides long lasting blooms late in the season. Many pollinators collect its nectar but the pollen accessible only by insects like short-tongued bees. Perfect for edging walkways, the flowers grow best in lightly shaded spots with moist soil. Calico Aster is an important host plant to Silvery Checkerspot and Pearl Crescent Butterflies and is occasionally browsed by deer and rabbits. The plant may hybridize with other white asters which makes distinguishing the plants challenging.

California Aster

Symphyotrichum chilense

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum

California Goldenrod

Solidago californica

California Phacelia

Phacelia californica

California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

Canada Goldenrod

Solidago canadensis

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis

Clasping Coneflower

Dracopis amplexicaulis

Cleveland Sage

Salvia clevelandii

Common Camas

Camassia quamash

Common Sunflower

Helianthus annuus — There are many varied and colorful choices of sunflowers but not all produce pollen. Common Sunflower stands tall as an excellent choice for bees who favor this open-pollinated variety along with butterflies and birds. Plant a flowering drought and heat-tolerant fence with its 1’ wide blossoms, lemon-yellow petals, chocolaty center, and large heart-shaped leaves.

Especially popular with Diadasia enavata and other native bees, Helianthus annuus ‘Lemon Queen’ is a natural fast-growing hybrid and the sunflower of choice for The Great Sunflower Project, the largest Citizen Science project focused on pollinators. More than 100,000 citizen-scientists across North America are collecting data to help San Francisco State University biologists understand the reasons and impact of struggling bee populations.

Common Tidy Tips

Layia platyglossa

Cream Wild Indigo

Baptisia bracteata

Culver’s Root

Veronicastrum virginicum

Cup Plant

Silphium perfoliatum

Dotted Blazing Star

Liatris punctata

Dotted Mint

Monarda punctata

Douglas Aster

Symphyotrichum subspicatum

Douglas Meadowfoam

Limnanthes douglasii

Eastern Rosemallow

Hibiscus moscheutos

Eastern Smooth Penstemon

Penstemon laevigatus

Elegant Clarkia

Clarkia unguiculata

Field Thistle

Cirsium discolor

Foothill Penstemon

Penstemon heterophyllus

Giant Goldenrod

Solidago gigantea

Globe Gilia

Gilia capitata

Golden Alexanders

Zizia aurea

Gray Goldenrod

Solidago nemoralis

Great Blue Lobelia

Lobelia siphilitica

Gumplant

Grindelia camporum

Hall’s Aster

Symphyotrichum hallii

Joe Pye Weed

Eutrochium fistulosum

Lacy Phacelia

Phacelia tanacetifolia — Also called Bee’s Friend for good reason; bees love this flower for its abundant nectar, high-quality pollen, and long bloom time. Droves of bees are so energetically attracted to the clustering of light lavender-blue flowers that some suggest coordinating planting times to avoid competing for attention against crops. This flower is also highly attractive to butterflies as well as other beneficial insects such as hoverflies which eat aphids as well as other garden pests.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Coreopsis lanceolata

Large-Flowered Collomia

Collomia grandiflora

Leavenworth’s Eryngo

Eryngium leavenworthii

Lemon Beebalm

Monarda citriodora — Whorled tufts of pink blossoms, speckled with purple, radiate from long spears attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds alike. The fragrant edible leaves taste like lemon and can be used in salads, desserts, and teas. The citrus scented leaves contain citronellol and when rubbed on skin makes an effective mosquito and biting-fly repellent. Or the leaves of this drought-tolerant plant can be made into its namesake—a sting-treating balm. This ornamental plant is deer & insect-resistant and grows easily along roadsides and train tracks.

Marsh Blazing Star

Liatris spicata

Maximilian Sunflower

Helianthus maximiliani

Meadow Checkermallow

Sidalcea campestris

Mexican Hat

Ratibida columnifera

Missouri Ironweed

Vernonia missurica

Narrowleaf Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia

Narrowleaf Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the Monarch Butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to Monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias fascicularis

Narrowleaf Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum tenuifolium

Narrowleaf Sunflower

Helianthus angustifolius

New England Aster

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

New York Ironweed

Vernonia noveboracensis

Pale Purple Coneflower

Echinacea pallida

Prairie Blazing Star

Liatris pycnostachya

Prairie Penstemon

Penstemon cobaea

Prairie Spiderwort

Tradescantia occidentalis

Puget Sound Gumweed

Grindelia integrifolia

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea — Many showy coneflower varieties vie for attention, but wilt when compared to this flower with its high-quality nectar and open-pollinated seeds. Bees, hummingbirds, and monarch butterflies once fed upon this abundant nectar source in prairies and fields before they were developed into parking lots. Fortunately, this easy-to-grow and deer-resistant flower is prized for prairie restorations and sought by gardeners. This moderate-grower needs more than one season to bloom to its fullest, but is worth the wait for its striking sweet-fragranced lavender-pink blossoms perched upon purple-streaked steams. The flowers of this drought tolerant plant make excellent cuttings and promote new buds when picked which extend the blooming season. Let remaining blossoms turn to seed in Autumn for birds, particularly finches, to feast upon and propagate in surrounding areas. Avoid fertilizers which create leggy stems that are unable to support the blossom’s weight.

Purple Giant Hyssop

Agastache scrophulariifolia

Purple Poppy Mallow

Callirhoe involucrata

Purple Prairie Clover

Dalea purpurea

Rattlesnake Master

Eryngium yuccifolium

Riverbank Lupine

Lupinus rivularis

Scarlet Globemallow

Sphaeralcea coccinea

Seaside Goldenrod

Solidago sempervirens

Selfheal

Prunella vulgaris subsp. lanceolata

Showy Goldenrod

Solidago speciosa

Showy Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the Monarch Butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to Monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias speciosa

Slender Clarkia

Clarkia gracilis

Smooth Blue Aster

Symphyotrichum laeve

Smooth Penstemon

Penstemon digitalis

Sneezeweed

Helenium autumnale

Spiderwort

Tradescantia virginiana

Summer Lupine

Lupinus formosus

Swamp Milkweed

We have lost 97% of the Monarch Butterfly population since 1990. Milkweed is critical to Monarchs and planting native milkweed is imperative to their recovery.

Asclepias incarnata

Virginia Mountain Mint

Pycnanthemum virginianum

White Prairie Clover

Dalea candida

White Wild Indigo

Baptisia alba

Wholeleaf Rosinweed

Silphium integrifolium

Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Wild Geranium

Geranium maculatum

Wild Golden Glow

Rudbeckia laciniata

Wild Indigo

Baptisia tinctoria

Wild Lupine

Lupinus perennis

Wingstem

Verbesina alternifolia

Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod

Solidago rugosa

Yellow Giant Hyssop

Agastache nepetoides

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