Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Have Monkeys, Leopards and Butterflies in My Garden!

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I was really looking forward to the Mariposa Lilies blooming.

Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly. There were twisty unopened buds for the longest time.

Finally, last week they started to open.
Then, suddenly, this past weekend, they all opened at once.

Someone thought the markings on the petals looked like butterfly wings. Native Americans collected the corms of these plants (Latin name: Calochortus venustus) for cooking and eating. They are a West Coast native, very well suited to our wet winters and dry summers.

My Leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum) has also started blooming. At first it was just one bud.

Then several more.

Looks like there are plenty more to come. Leopard lilies are another West Coast native that thrives on our wet winters and dry summers.

My monkey flowers (Mimulus cardinalis and Mimulus lewisii x cardinalis) also just started blooming.

Mimulus cardinalis/scarlet monkey flower

I started scarlet monkey flower from seed. Last year it was just a few small clumps of leaves. Now I have three large plants. This plant likes moisture, so I'm going to have to see what I can do this summer about keeping it wet. It is another West Coast native, with a reputation as a hummingbird magnet. In fact, hummingbirds are its exclusive pollinators.

Apparently someone thought this flower looked like a monkey's face. I don't know.

 Mimulus lewisii x cardinalis (bought from Annie's Annuals)

I think it looks like a singing mouth. I can picture Disney animating it.

Monkeys and Leopards and Butterflies, Oh My!


  1. You have your very own zoo :) I've never seen butterfly lilies before. They are gorgeous! I love their exquisitely painted detail. The finest brushstrokes! Your garden holds so many wonderful treasures and it's looking lovely!

  2. The mariposa lilies are stunning, I have not seen them before, I wonder if they would grow in my zone... :)

  3. Gosh I love those mariposa lilies. Such delicate markings, and the way they unfold - wow! I wondered about the animals you claimed to have in your heading, so had to follow along and see. :) I don't know about the animals, but your flowers are beautiful.

  4. Hi Alison, The mariposa lilies are so pretty. I have never seen or heard of them before. I do think you are (climate-wise) in a gardener's paradise. I always admired how another WA garden blogger was showing flowers almost all year round, when we were buried in snow! No snow now - and that's a-ok by me. I enjoyed your post.

  5. Cute posting Alison. The Mariposa is gorgeous, haven't seen any around here. I like that lily ---the spots are so striking.
    Your monkey face (I don't see it) is a pretty flower as well.

  6. Alison, you have such a wonderful collection of pacific northwest plants! You're giving me great idea's for my next garden! The Mariposa is a knock out! Have you thought about a little drip irrigation hose to keep your monkey flowers happy?

  7. Wow - this was such a lovely post to find! Learned so much about some gorgeous new flowers!

  8. The mariposa is so gorgeous, I was actually holding my breath scrolling down waiting for the bloom to open. What a stunner. The tiger lily is so pretty too, love the shot from below. And those monkey flowers--I have an annual version of them and for the life of me, can't see the monkey either, I think someone gave them a sassy nickname, don't you?

    Everything is gorgeous in your garden, Alison, always love the visits!

  9. Wow, Alison, these are fabulous plants. Don't you love Annie's? I've got a pink mimulus that I'm hoping will reseed. Yours are gorgeous!

  10. So beautiful! I'm thinking I really need to get some Scarlet Monkey Flowers, especially since I can't get any chickens yet. I see that as an almost fair compromise. I shall look to Annie's for some seeds...Thanks for all the great info and for sharing the fantastic shots of these leopards and monkeys and butterflies, oh my!

  11. Your native plants are so inspiring :)
    I love monkey flowers and used to find them quite easily when hiking in California. I really need to get a wildflower book for the PNW for when we hike ...


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.