Top 8 Native Shade Pollinator Plants for Maryland Piedmont region.


At LGS we like to make lists and we’re also plant nerds so lists of our favorite plants are the best! Here are 8 of our FAV shade natives for pollinators. What are yours?

1.Coral Bells– Heuchera americana are a must have in any shade garden.  They come in an extensive variety of colors from orange, to purple, to lime green.  The leaves stay bushy and compact, and the tall, delicate flowers are a great source of pollen for bees.

2. ‘Espresso’ geraniumGeranium maculatum-  This particular geranium is native to Maryland and adds an interesting purple/brown color to any shade garden.  Its small purple flowers are attractive to a variety of butterflies and offers a good source of early pollen for bees.

Tiarella cordifolia

3. Foam flowerTiarella cordifolia – The soft white and pink flowers attract bees and butterflies. It is an early spring bloomer and likes consistent water levels and well drained soil. Will form a nice ground cover in hummusy soil.

Aqualegia canadensis- Columbine. Deer Resistant. hummingbird and pollinator friendly.

4. ColumbineAquilegia canadensis- Columbine work nicely in both shade and sun and blooms in the spring. It spreads readily by seed in moist well drained beds.  Their bell  shaped  flowers  provide  a great  food  source  for hummingbirds.  It  is  also deer resistant and rabbit resistant.Phlox divaricata

5. Woodland PhloxPhlox divaricata – This species of phlox is very shade tolerant and attracts many types of butterflies. It spreads to form a nice taller ground cover and blooms in spring.

Indian Pink

6. Indian PinksSpigelia marilandica – Great for humming birds, butterflies, and bees! These gorgeous, unique flowers tolerate shade and bloom in the summer.

Virginia bluebells

7. Virginia bluebellsMertensia virginiana – Bluebells primarily attract a variety of bees, but have also been known to be a great pollen source of certain butterflies, moths, and even hummingbirds. They spread well as a ground cover in a full shade location and like moist well drained soil.



White turtlehead

Tiny Tortuga turtlehead

Hot Lips turtlehead

Hot Lips Turtlehead

Tiny Tortuga turtlehead

8. TurtleheadChelone spp . There are a few varieties of turtle head. Some of our favorites are Chelone glabra which is a white flowering taller turtlehead. Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’ is a taller pink flowered variety. Chelone obliqua is a more compact pink flowering variety. Turtlehead support butterflies, most notably the endangered Baltimore Checkerspot!

Looking for more pollinator friendly plants?  Click here for our top 10 favorite perennials for pollinators.

Come visit our native plant nursery at 3575 Sharp Rd, Glenwood, MD 21738 in Western Howard County, MD Mon-Thurs 9-5 and Fridays by appt, Sats in spring and fall to shop a wide variety of plants native to the Maryland Piedmont. If we don’t have it we’ll order it for you! Call us at 410-461-2535 to see if we have something in stock that you need for your garden. We also offer free estimates for a long list of landscaping services- stone work, landscape design, planting new garden beds, pathways, walls and ponds, rain gardens, conservation landscapes and more! Email us at for a free estimate. You can also check out our work and get good info on natives at our Facebook Page. Come visit us and Let Us Plant It for You!