This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well adapted to our region.
Size: Under 3 feet tall.
Bloom season: Summer, early fall.
Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week; can survive with irrigation every other week, but flowers less.
Snapshot: This is a favorite California native with bright-colored blooms throughout the summer and into fall. Its distinctive flowers –which reminded early botanists of little smiling monkey faces – attract hummingbirds and beneficial insects. This perennial grows into a small shrubby mound, covered with flowers most of the summer. Monkeyflower prefers good drainage and sandy soil. It combines well with many Mediterranean plants such as lavenders and salvias. You can see specimens in the arboretum’s Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California native plants on the UC Davis campus.• For more on the New Front Yard, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at sacbee.com/home_garden .