Ants -- Although ants like pollen and nectar, they aren't good pollinators, so many flowers have sticky hairs or other mechanisms to keep them out.
Bats -- Large, light-colored, night-blooming flowers with strong fruity odor (e.g., many cactus flowers). Bats don't see well, but have a keen sense of smell.
Bees -- Yellow, blue, purple flowers. There are hundreds of types of bees, and they have a range of flower preferences.
Beetles -- White or dull-colored, fragrant flowers since they can't see colors (e.g., potatoes, roses)
Butterflies -- Red, orange, yellow, pink, blue. Because they need to land before feeding, they like flat-topped clusters (e.g., zinnias, calendulas, butterfly weeds) in a sunny location.
Carrion-eating flies -- Maroon, brown flowers with foul odors (e.g., wild ginger).
Flies -- Green, white, cream flowers. Many like simple bowl-shaped flowers or clusters
Hummingbirds -- Red, orange, purple/red tubular flowers with lots of nectar, since they live exclusively on flowers (e.g., sages, fuschias, honeysuckles, nasturtiums, columbines, bee balms). They need no landing areas since they hover while feeding.
Moths -- Light-colored flowers that open at dusk (e.g., evening primroses).
By creating a garden that attracts a range of pollinators, you can provide vital oases amidst seas of buildings and concrete. Kids can play a role in digging shallow pools and mud puddles and providing piles of twigs and animal hair for nesting materials.
Article published on June 23, 2008.