Yellow flowered sicky monkey flower

 Native to southwestern North America from southwestern Oregon south through most of California, to Baja California, this evergreen subshrub is a member of the lopseed family,  Phrymaceae, a small family that includes duckweed. The plant grows up to 5′ tall and has sticky stems and dark green, lanceolate, leaves that are 2-3″ long and exude a resin that makes them feel sticky. From early spring to mid summer, tubular flowers appear. They are 1.2″ long and have 5 petals that are united into a 2-lipped tube with 2 petals up above and 3 below. The flowers are yellow to orange and red and are pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. The plant is also an important host plant for the larvae of the common buckeye butterfly and the variable checkerspot. Although drought tolerant and and attractive in spring, the plants may drop their leaves during the summer so are best sited as a background plant. The genus name, Diplacus, comes from the Greek  di, meaning two and plakos, meaning flat round plate . The specific epithet, aurantiacus, is the Latin word meaning orange, and refers to the most common flower color. Photo Credit Ndolkah Wikimedia Commons

Detail of flowers of sticky monkey flower

Type: Evergreen subshrub

Outstanding Feature: Flowers

Form: Mounding, spreading

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Yellow to orange and red tubular flowers from early spring to mid summer

Size: 3-5′ H x 5′ W

Light: Full to part sun

Soil: Rocky to sandy, dry to medium moist, well-drained; very drought tolerant

Hardiness: Zones 7-11

Care: Pinch back in spring to encourage bushiness; deadhead to prolong bloom

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed

Outstanding Selections:

‘Jelly Bean Red’

Photo Credit: Curtis Clark Wikimedia Commons

By Karen