Bearsfoot is a Native American remedy, used sometimes as a hair tonic or ointment for swollen glands, including complications of malaria. The root can also be taken internally for mastitis and other non-malignant growths. The plants flower in September and are pollinated by insects. It is a good "seva" plant because butterflies love it and birds eat the seeds. Bearsfoot is a perennial and though usually smaller can grow to 8-9 feet in height.
Figwort, organic, 300 seeds
Figwort has tiny flowers that bloom for months and months. It is hardy at least to zone 7 and is very easy to grow. It is much loved by bees and is a powerful medicinal herb, working mainly on the lymphatic system. It is both a parasiticide and blood cleanser and can be taken internally or used topically as an ointment for skin diseases.
She-chuang-zi, organic, 100 seeds
This plant is common in China and attracts lots of pollinators. It is a perennial. Plant the seed in spring in moist soil where there is full sun or partial shade. Barely tap the seeds into the ground. It flowers from May to July and the seeds ripen in July and August. The seeds have been used medicinally for thousands of years, both internally and externally, mainly for itchiness in the genitalia (of both men and women.) It can be used as a wash or lotion. It is a parasiticide and can be used in the treatment of trichonomas infections. It enhances libido by increasing blood flow to the sexual organs, and it is used to treat osteoporosis.
Hybridization of plants to suit the whims of gardeners has resulted in the proliferation of plants that lack both the nectar and pollen necessary for bees and butterflies. Add to this the catastrophic impact of genetically modified crops, herbicides, and pesticides, and we are today faced with a global food crisis that, if not corrected, will not only result in widespread famine but also the loss of fruit, vegetable, and nuts for consumption by humans and others, leaving us to forage on grains.
What we can do to reverse recent trends is to plant flowers that are high in the nutrients needed by our pollinators and to plan this activity so that there is steady flowering and therefore constant availability of flowers from very early in the season until late into fall and even winter. To the extent possible, it is better to use heirloom varieties or native species because these would be favored by our hard working bees and gorgeous butterflies.
Be sure to put water near the plants so the pollinators have enough to drink and make sure the water is not too deep or treacherous so that the bees and butterflies have safe places to land while drinking.