by High Country GardensScarlet Monardella (Monardella macrantha ‘Marion Sampson’) This unusual native plant has to rate as one of my best plant acquisitions of the past year. Belonging to the genus Monardella, [caption id="attachment_1164" align="alignright" width="212" caption="Monardella macrantha ‘Marion Sampson’"][/caption] a small group of plants native to the Western US, Monardella macrantha is found in chaparral, woodland and forest habitats in mountainous regions of southern California. ‘Marion Sampson’ is an exceptional selection of the species that will amaze gardeners with its non-stop display of superbly showy tubular, deep red flowers. In the wild, the plant grows as a groundcover with stem rooting as it grows across the soil. Plant it in partial sun under trees and shrubs where conditions are drier and in full sun where it gets more regular irrigation. I also highly recommend the plant for use in containers as a “spiller” where it will trail over the edge and spill down the side, covering itself with the marvelous deep red flower clusters. In the ground, I like to combine it with Salvia arizonica, another native dry semi-shade lover. In containers, plant ‘Marion Sampson’ with Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’ and your favorite annuals. Scarlet Monardella is also a fabulous source of nectar for hummingbirds and is like a living hummingbird feeder blooming all spring, summer and fall. To attract hummingbirds with this plant, place it in window boxes, hanging baskets and along the edges of raised beds and rock walls.