Mint on fire! (Hummingbird trumpet mint)

Monardella macrantha Marian Sampson Plant Select

Photo: Panayoti Kelaidis

Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’ is a perennial native to the higher mountainous regions of California. It is a selection made by Ed Sampson, a native plant enthusiast and nursery owner, in honor of his wife. He selected it from straight species because of its excellent adaptability at different elevations and with the cooperation of Nevin Smith of Suncrest Nursery in Watsonville, CA introduced it to the gardening world. Plant Select® has chosen to recommend it for our gardening environment for the exact same reasons.

Mondardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’ is renowned for firecracker-red tubular flowers that form in clusters at the end of each stem. This little rock garden gem will set the garden ablaze with non-stop color beginning in late spring clear through to frost. It hugs the ground spreading moderately & spilling gracefully over rocks & ledges. But don’t think rock gardens are the only use for Monardella, you can use it in containers to trail over the edge with fiery drama.

The sweet nectar rich flowers attract hummingbirds by the score. It’s a veritable bird feeding fly-by dispensary of delight for the hummers! Because of its prolific flower production, it can be a short lived perennial lasting only a season or two, but what beautiful seasons they are. Plant some Monardella in your garden, then sit back to revel at the hummingbird hunger games, the odds are definitely in your favor!

View the plant profile here.

Hummingbird trumpet mint
Monardella macrantha ‘Marian Sampson’
Perennial
Height: 4-6″
Width: 8-12″
Blooms: Late Spring through summer
Sun:  Partial sun
Water: Moderate to dry
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5b-9
Culture: Clay, loam or sandy soil

Thanks to Diana Reavis, Eason Horticultural Resources, for this news story.

7 responses to “Mint on fire! (Hummingbird trumpet mint)”

  1. Linda Braddy says:

    I just got one of these plants yesterday (very excited about it!) and I’m arguing with myself as to where to put it… will it self-sow? As it is a mint, do I need to worry about runners or stolons under the soil helping it “take over”?
    Thanks,
    Linda

    • Pat Hayward says:

      Hi Linda, we can certainly understand your concerns, but there are many plants in the mint family that are well-behaved. Marian Sampson has been grown for many years in CA and shows absolutely no threat of running or self-sowing. In Colorado we’ve found it performs best in part shade, protected from the hottest part of the day. It also likes good drainage and not too much organic matter. (This is actually true of most of the plants in our program.) Hope this helps.

  2. Jacque says:

    Purchased three for a container. Beautiful plant

  3. Karan B. says:

    Very sad!! I discovered this surprising little beauty last year in the Northeast !!! Didn’t care that it didn’t come back this year despite the mild winter we had …. And note cannot find it anymore. The nurseries I found them in were underwhelmed by the performance and did not reorder. Short of moving to the mountains of CA … Does anyone know of a place to find these in my area??? I WILL travel for flowers I L~O~V~E !!

    And Linda B. … Rejoice if these spread !!! They are little gifts so … Let ’em sow … Let ’em sow !! Don’t hold them back any more !!
    (Anyone exposed to young kids will get that reference 😊 )

  4. Laura says:

    Hi I recently moved from Colorado to Idaho City, Idaho. It is a mountain town with long freezes and low temps around 0 in the coldest months. Can I grow this beautiful plant up here?

    • Pat Hayward says:

      You can, but you’d most likely have to treat it as an annual. It does bloom all season long, so you’ll get a lot of bang for the money.

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