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Introducing the NEW Twin City Seed Native Bee Lawn Seed Mix

By James Wolfin

Twin City Seed has been proud to offer our original bee lawn seed mix for the past five years.  Each year, we have seen excitement and enthusiasm continue to grow around this product and around the idea of managing our lawns to support at-risk pollinators while conserving natural resources.  We are also well aware of the rise in interest in native plants.  Research indicates that native plants often provide higher-quality nutritional resources to our native pollinators than non-native plants.  While the original bee lawn seed mix has been shown to provide forage for more than 65 bee species, we wanted to make a product available to the public that emphasizes the value of our native plants.  The NEW Twin City Seed Native Bee Lawn Mix features three native wildflowers that provide high-quality nectar and pollen to our at-risk pollinators!  The flowering species included in the mix are self-heal, narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass, and Yaak yarrow.

Bees feasting on the native flowers included in the Twin City Seed Native Bee Lawn Mix.  Flowers pictured from left to right: Self heal (Prunella vulgaris), Yaak yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium).

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a beautiful flower with a striking violet color that may be recognized by folks familiar with bee lawns, as it is the only native flower included in the original mix.  This flower blooms at 3 inches tall and provides nectar and pollen to pollinators.  This plant is a proven native bee superstar, as more than 95% of the bees observed on self-heal in UMN trials were native to Minnesota and the United States!  Self-heal thrives in a variety of planting conditions but may benefit from a drink of water in the heat of summer when our soils run dry.

Narrow-leaved Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) boasts deep blue petals and a yellow center – two colors shown to be very attractive to bees!  The vegetation of this flower is thin and grass-like, making it a perfect fit for a lawn.  Narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass has been documented as a source of food for bees, songbirds, syrphid flies, and various other pollinators and wildlife. This flower prefers some moisture, so be sure to keep an eye on this plant in your lawn!  When it starts to show signs of stress, provide your lawn with at least one inch of water. Blue-eyed grass may struggle in Northern Minnesota where average annual low temperatures dip below 30F. This flower is a stunning addition to any yard, starting to bloom at ~6” in height while providing food for pollinators and wildlife throughout the spring and summer.

Yaak yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a native flower with white petals and a yellow center.  This plant thrives under low-input management, helping you conserve natural resources within your lawn.  Yaak yarrow provides food to a great diversity of pollinators including bumblebees, sweat bees, and hoverflies. This plant displays a wide bloom time in Minnesota, flowering June through September.  Yaak yarrow will start to bloom at ~6” in height. It features a pleasant, aromatic smell, especially when mowed or walked on.  This plant will thrive in both sun and part shade conditions.

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