Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA. 3-29-08. © Joan Avise

Sticky Monkeyflower
(Bush Monkeyflower)

Mimulus aurantiacus

A woody perennial shrub common in sage scrub, chaparral and riparian woodland in the foothills and Santa Ana Mountains. 

The Miwok and Pomo Native Americans used its flowers and roots to treat many ailments, but it was particularly useful for its antiseptic qualities as it expedited the healing of minor scrapes and burns (Wikipedia).

Phrymaceae

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O'Neill Regional Park, Orange Co., CA. 4-11-10. © Joan Avise

Flowers in leaf axils, usually in pairs; 5-cleft ribbed calyx San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine, CA. 4-11-09. © Joan Avise

O'Neill Regional Park, Orange Co., CA. 4-11-10. © Joan Avise

Plants with an intermediate pale orange to salmon-colored flower are the most commonly encountered in Orange County.  Opposite, sticky, finely toothed leaves. Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach, CA. © Joan Avise

This species has highly variable color forms ranging from yellow to deep red that have sometimes been listed as separate species. Caspers Wilderness Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA. 3-29-08. © Joan Avise

Four stamens, bifid stigma San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA. 3-29-08. © Joan Avise

San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA. 4-12-09. © Joan Avise

The white, bifid stigma is composed of two segments that close up if touched by a
visiting pollinator or inquisitive human. This is thought to be a mechanism to
prevent self-fertilization. If pollen is deposited the stigma remains closed, but if no pollen is deposited the stigma re-opens within minutes, ready for the next pollinator's visit. Woods End Wilderness Preserve, Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA. 12-26-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Up to 4 ft. many-branched woody perennial shrub. Peter's Canyon Regional Park, Irvine, CA. © Joan Avise
 

Often associated with rock outcrops. San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA 4-12-09. © Joan Avise

Blue Jay Campground, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA. 6-11-11. © Joan Avise

T, M. aurantiacus B, Main Divide N, 1.65 to 2.3 mi. NW Hwy 74, 6-22-13. © Ron Vanderhoff.

Mimulus clevelandii L, M. aurantiacus R, Main Divide N, 1.65 to 2.3 mi. NW Hwy 74, 6-22-13. © Ron Vanderhoff.
Associations with birds and insects

Pollinated by both bees and hummingbirds.  It is a host plant for the Variable Checkerspot Butterfly, Euphydryas chalcedona