Why Pollinator Plants are So Important
Why is pollination such a big deal?
As promised several weeks ago, this week we are focusing on the important of pollination and how certain plants play a vital role in providing important pollinators (bees, some birds, bats and other insects) with a habitat to do what they do best: pollinate. The variety of pollinators in an ecosystem depends on the variety of pollinator plants. With 75-90% of all plants reliant on help from pollinators, the more pollinator plants in a landscape, the better.  This increase in biodiversity is essential for pollinator-dependent plants to have plenty of workers to assist with pollination.
While some plants are wholly dependent on the presence of pollinators to continue existing, for example apples, almonds, and blueberries, others plants contribute to the attractant of pollinators to farms where these dependent species are grown.  In other cases, like on our farm, the presence of pollinator plants encourages the biodiversity needed to sustain the pollinator populations themselves within our ecosystem.
The relationship between pollinators and the plants they pollinate…
This helps us transition to the flip side of the pollinator coin, so to speak. Just as the variety of pollinators is essential to meet the needs of pollinator-reliant plants, so too are the variety of plants vital to maintaining healthy populations of pollinators. In other words, the variety of plants encourage the sustainability of bird, bees, bats, beetles, butterflies and other pollinator populations. 
These populations directly impact the stability of our plant communities and ecosystems. There is an intrinsic reliance or interdependence between plants and pollinators and the animal and human populations they effect. With the recent decline in certain pollinator populations, there has been a trickle down effect on certain food supplies. We notice this in grocery stores with the increasing price of almonds, for example. The Pollinator Partnership said it best…
By placing emphasis on the natural networks at play between plants, pollinators, and people, we can begin to ensure healthy ecosystems and food security for all. 
If your interest is piqued, and you want to geek out more on the relationship between plant and pollinator survival, here are a few academic resources for you:
Endangered pollinators & their habitats + 2019 Pollinator Week poster download, Pollinator Partnership
Endangered pollinators list, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
National Pollinator Month, The National Wildlife Federation
“Pollination sounds cool, but what am I supposed to do with all of this information?”
Great question! At Panoramic Farm, as a team of plant lovers and experts, we tend to get fired up about greater agricultural issues more than our customers and their customers do. That said, we think it is important to educate about what’s happening in the global system of plants, pollinators and the food supply chains and the people its effecting.
So, here’s what we suggest. As you have the power to make decisions about which plants to order for your customers, new landscape installations and crop planning, consider incorporating pollinator plants into the mix.
By adding pollinator plants into your plant palette, you are helping increase the biodiversity of plant communities. PLUS you can boast your contribution to reducing the impact of endangered pollinator species while watching beautiful species enjoy your plants - who doesn’t love attracting butterflies and bumble bees into their garden?
Now THAT is something you and your customers can get on board with doing!
Pollinator Plant Suggestions…
This week, similar to what we did a few weeks ago, we have flagged all pollinator plants with a yellow worker bee. In the mix are varities of Echinacea, Coreopsis, Stella de Oro and Distylium. While Distyliums are not technically a listed pollinator plant, the tend to attract late winter/early spring bee arrivals and provide a winter supplement for pollinators.
For more information on what we’ve discussed today, give us a call! We’d love to discuss our passion for pollinator plants and why we encourage our customers to consider their importance.