Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Cardinal Monkey-flower, Scarlet Monkey-flower)
Delicate in appearance but robust, scarlet monkey-flower is an evergreen perennial wildflower that favors locations with moist soils. This scarlet-flowered beauty is a western native that can be found from Washington State down to California and east to New Mexico. It dwells happily at the bottom of stream canyons and wetlands where soils remain moist, even in the dry season.
Simple, deeply veined leaves with toothed edges line the herbaceous stems of this monkey-flower. They are medium green...
(Irish Moss, Moss Sandwort, Vernal Stitchwort)
The low, spreading alpine, vernal stitchwort, is a perfect groundcover for areas where summers are mild. It produces a green mat of foliage and becomes covered in small, starry, white flowers in late spring or early summer. Tolerant of summer humidity and foot traffic, this prostrate evergreen perennial originates from the mountains of northwestern Europe, and eastern Asia.
Tiny, medium green leaves, which resemble the small scales of moss, cover vernal stitchwort all season long. Flowering...
A signature plant of the eastern North American woods, this creeping evergreen roots along its stems to form lush mats of small rounded dark-green leaves with pale midribs. Paired, fragrant white flowers are borne in the leaf nodes in spring and early summer, followed by plump waxy red fruits. White-fruited forms are occasionally available. The fruits are edible but of poor flavor.
Give this year-round ornamental a humus-rich, acid to neutral soil and partial to full shade. It works well as a...
(Twinleaf Miterwort, Twoleaf Miterwort)
No one would ever accuse this North American woodland perennial of being spectacular. Yet, its mounded, fuzzy, maple-shaped leaves and its open spikes of small, lacy, off-white flowers do possess a quiet elegance and charm. Its bloom comes relatively late in the spring wildflower season, adding to its value.
This shade-loving perennial prefers humus-rich, well drained, neutral to alkaline soil. It is best in a naturalistic setting, but also works well in rock gardens and other settings where...
(Adam Beebalm, Hybrid Beebalm)
The deep red-flowered 'Adam' is a tough and pretty Monarda for the sunny summer garden.
This tall hybrid cultivar has deep green leaves. In summer it produces many radial clusters of showy red flowers that stand tall atop strong upright stems. These draw hummingbirds and butterflies alike. The flowers are highly fragrant as is the foliage. Monarda leaves have a pungent smell that’s undesirable to browsing pests, like deer.
This Monarda prefers full sun and requires...
(Beauty of Cobham Beebalm, Hybrid Beebalm)
Its purple-tinged leaves, pale lavender-pink flowers, and purple-pink floral bracts distinguish 'Beauty of Cobham' from other beebalms. But – like them – it makes a pretty perennial for full or part sun.
In summer this hybrid Monarda produces fragrant tubular flowers in frilly starburst heads that stand tall atop strong upright stems. Beneath them is a ruff of colorful bracts. The flowers draw hummingbirds and butterflies alike. The paired narrowly oval leaves have a pungent scent that’s...
The popular violet-pink flowered 'Blaustrumpf', or 'Blue Stocking', is a tall German introduction that is not as blue as its name would suggest. Still, is it a lovely vigorous perennial Monarda, that adds good color to sunny summer borders.
This tall hybrid cultivar has crisp deep green leaves. In summer it produces many radial clusters of showy bright violet-pink flowers that stand tall atop strong upright stems. These draw hummingbirds and butterflies alike. The flowers are highly fragrant...