Do Coneflowers Attract Bees? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Purple coneflower, scientific name Echinacea purpura, is a vivid purple perennial flower native to North America. Additionally, it is known as Eastern Purple Coneflower or Hedgehog Coneflower.

With its long, oval-shaped petals and spherical floral disc, Purple Coneflower looks strikingly similar to a daisy.

Coneflowers, in fact, are a member of the Asteraceae family, which also contains daisies, asters, and hundreds of other species.

Contrary to the petals, the cone-shaped disc is really made up of numerous tiny flowers. The vibrant blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds who feast on the flowery disc.

Does Coneflower Attract Bees?

Yes, it does. Bees love purple coneflower, often known as echinacea, a perennial herb that grows in many parts of the country.

Bees are drawn to the wildflower because of its color, and they eat nectar and pollen from it.

It blooms from the middle of summer to the end of the season, giving the bees plenty of nectar to feed on.

The seeds of the purple coneflower are popular with birds (especially finches). The bird gets to consume the seeds, while the purple coneflower gets to distribute its seeds through the bird’s feces.

This is a mutualistic connection.

Many of our coneflower varieties bloom at different times of the year; while some bloom in early summer, others bloom later.

Bees are particularly fond of flowers that bloom later in the season. The reason for this is that they provide a convenient supply of food for young queen bees.

Because they can feed and build up their stores now, they will be ready for the approaching winter.

Bees, butterflies, and even birds are drawn to coneflowers of all hues and types.

Planting late-blooming coneflower types may be a good idea if you want to watch bees buzzing around your garden. 

What Do Coneflowers Attract?

Few flowers attract as many bees and butterflies as the Coneflower.

The plant comes in a variety of gorgeous hues, including blue, white, yellow, and purple,, to name a few.

Purple is one of my favorite colors and it adds a new dimension to any garden.

Plant the native purple coneflower species, scatter the seeds across your garden,, and enjoy the advantages of these sturdy, erect native prairie-based plants that attract swallowtails, painted ladies, monarchs, and a variety of fritillaries.

One of the reasons coneflowers are so gorgeous is that they attract wildlife to your garden, including beneficial insects and birds.

Once insects such as butterflies and bees discover it in your garden, they use it as a feeding site.

The abundant blossoms produce wonderful nectar that the insects cannot resist,, and you will notice them feeding on the flowers.

Birds enjoy them as well, especially hummingbirds, who flock to the plant throughout the blooming season, and goldfinches, blue jays,, and cardinals, which rely on the plant’s profusion of seeds throughout the winter.

Hummingbirds, as we all know, prefer a rich source of nectar,, and since coneflowers provide this, we notice them flitting and hanging around as well.

Another reason birds are attracted to the coneflower plant is because they will find an abundance of insects to eat.

Insectivorous plants rely on insects as their source of food. Once these birds realize there is an abundant food supply close to them, then they would also be in attendance. 

Some birds who are attracted to coneflowers include

  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Insectivorous Birds
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Pine Siskin
  • Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

All these beautiful wildlife can be around your garden just because of the presence of a few shrubs of the coneflower plant. 

Why Do Bees Like Coneflower?

Purple coneflowers, often known as echinacea, are a major source of nectar for bees.

Attracted to the color of the wildflower, bees feast on both the nectar and pollen produced by the plant, which in turn disperses the pollen seeds necessary for the flower to reproduce.

It blooms for an extended period from mid-summer to fall, giving nectar for bees for several months.

Thus, coneflowers can offer nectar to bee colonies, particularly during their blooming period.

It is quite straightforward for worker bees to obtain sufficient nectar for feeding their larvae and conserving for the winter.

The coneflower has a large central cone made up of hundreds of tiny flowers called disc florets.

Each of these florets contains a large amount of nectar that the bees will visit to sip from before buzzing off.

Although coneflowers do not have the highest nectar content globally, they have a considerable amount that keeps attracting pollinators whenever they are planted. 

What Coneflower Does Not Attract Bees?

Though it might sound incredible, there are coneflower varieties that do not attract bees and other pollinators.

However, there is a reason for this. First, planting hybrid forms of the coneflower plant will not attract pollinators as they are often sterile and do not contain enough nectar. 

These are most often cultivars that have been bred for reasons which will not be attractive to bees.

Some of them have flower structures that might be too complex for bees, while some might not just be nutritionally beneficial to them.

In addition, double bloom forms most often restrain bees from getting to the nectar and pollen, thereby rendering themselves unattractive to them. 

When getting seeds for the coneflower plant, always take note of the cultivars you have, as bees are most often attracted to natural varieties.

For example, bees have been known to be attracted to the purple coneflower because of its color.

Also, although it is a cultivar, its’ structure has not changed fundamentally from the natural species used in cultivating it. 

What Flowers Least Attract Bees?

When it comes to flowers that bees feed on, there are some factors that determine which of the flowers the bees will visit.

This includes the color of the flower, the shape of its flowers, and the scent. 

Bees can be attracted by the scent of a flower as it can smell promising enough to show them there would be a lot of nectar and pollen available.

Bees also prefer open and flat tubular flowers as this makes it easy for them to access the nectar and pollen.

Also very important is the color of the flower. Bees are not attracted to specific colors, including red and dark colors.

Black is the absence of color for bees, and since red appears as black to them, bees are often not attracted to red flowers. 

This serves as a basis for understanding why bees are not attracted to certain flowers.

Likely, bees will not be attracted to red flowers, flowers with inaccessible shapes as well as flowers that do not have enough nectar. 

Flowers like red lilies, yarrow paprika, hummingbird mint, cardinal flower, and chrysanthemums are a few of the flowers you will not find bees because of their colors.

If your goal is not to have bees in your garden, then plant flowers that do not attract them or those which repel them out rightly (such as cucumbers and marigolds)


Coneflowers are a beautiful species of flowering plants in various shades and colors.

Coneflowers attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other insects due to their bright colors and delicious nectars.

The plant often helps provide bees with delicious nectar throughout the warm season and enables them to store up for winter.

It also provides insectivorous birds with easy sources of food.

There are some coneflower cultivars that do not attract bees as they do not have nectar or make their nectar inaccessible to pollinators.

Flowers with darker colors are more likely to repel bees, and it works if you do not want bees in your garden. 

However, if you want a bright and colorful wildlife display during summer in your garden, plant coneflowers attract the birds and bees. 

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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