Sticky Monkey Flower
July 3, 2009
Yes, that is the common name of this California native, a funny designation given to a most purposeful perennial. It plays a crucial role holding up forebodingly steep hillsides. The blossoms are uniquely bell shaped with a soft wavelike edge, and are the most clear and vibrant shades of orange. Every little pollinator in our garden makes its way to this spring and early summer feast and attraction.
Sticky Monkey has a had an incredible bumper year- every hillside that hosts this plant, has been an ongoing display of orange for over a month now. The season is beginning to come to a close though, as the sticky blossoms dry, and prepare their seed. After a joyful and gentle harvest, I collected seed, and am now drying it, preparing to propagate. I put the branches, leaves, and flowers into the dye pot.
My water filling station is in the native garden, where I’ve planted sticky monkey, among many other natives, it grows vibrantly without the need for watering.
This color astounds me. It is the perfect rich and rustic mustard yellow. I can actually see saving these skeins for my fall designs, as it reminds me of the autumnal mass of falling leaves that streak our neighborhood each year. It looks lovely sitting in our own sticky monkey plant. I highly recommend this plant for the garden.
And as the sun set, I caught one last spectacular example of how this color glows. It shares the vibrancy of the living plant. This is one more reason to use natural dyes- they are another way of taking a snapshot of the incredible depth of nature’s colorful creativity. And these are not just colors for your canvas, these can be worn, and keep you warm.
I’d love to hear your ideas, inspirations, and thoughts on nature’s colors…
I’ll be in touch as this process evolves, thank you for reading.