Orange Bush Sticky Monkey Flower (Diplaucus aurantiacus) are named for their funny-face-flowers that look like grinning Monkeys. These California native gets its common name from its long and narrow leaves with surfaces coated in a sticky resin. It is a delightful small evergreen shrub growing 2-4 ft. tall that becomes totally covered with colorful tubular orange flowers.
This wide ranging monkey flower can be found in the coast ranges from Santa Barbra to Del Norte County and in the foothills of the Sierras from Del Norte to Tuolumne county in the following plant communities: Chaparral, Closed-cone Pine Forest, Central Oak Woodland, Coastal Sage Scrub, Mixed-evergreen Forest, Northern Coastal Sage Scrub, Northern Oak Woodland, Redwood Forest.
Plants in the Genus Diplaucus like dry rocky slopes. They can often be found growing in almost solid rock with very little moisture even on south facing slopes. They will often survive drought by going summer deciduous. Diplaucus species are erect and woody in their growth habit. Monkey flowers are more floriferous in full sun but will tolerate part or even full shade.
Sticky monkey flower is highly adapted to sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer.
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 2 ft. – 3 ft.
Width: 2 ft. – 3 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Orange
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Rock gardens, Restoration, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, California native, Banks, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces
Best grown in part shade in inland gardens. Pinch when young to promote a more shrub-like form. Remove entire flower stalks once they are finished blooming. Cut back after blooming, but do not cut into old wood below the lowest sets of leaves, or the plant will most likely not grow back. Sticky monkey flower can also be pinched back (lightly trimmed) in spring before new growth if desired to clean up a bit and promote a bushier form. It is easy to grow and performs best in ornamental gardens for 3-5 years before needing to be replaced.