Plant of the Week: Mimulus Aurantiacus

If you wander the hills of California you might find this simple little beauty growing everywhere.¬†They often remind me of little screaming orangish children. Which, is very fitting because, Mimulus, stands for “little mime or comic actor”, a reaction to the face like corolla of the plant. Mimulus not only adds a special splash of color to your wanderings they are also functional!

How you ask?

This native plant was used by the Costal Miwok, the crushed leaves were put on to sores and burns. The roots were also used to treat a variety of maladies such as dysentry and hemmorhanges. The Pomo even used them to treat bloodshot eyes from smoky dwellings! (I once slept in a teepee with a fire, and I know exactly what this means.) They are also a wonderful addition to any lazy gardeners abode as they are drought tolerant and grow in all types of soils, including the most difficult. Best of all they are also a host plant to the checkerspot butterfly!

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