Scrophularia atrata, Bumble Bee Plant, is a two to four foot
perennial with three foot spikes of maroon 1/4-1/2" flowers that seems
to be the place to be if you're a bumble bee or a butterfly. (Bumble
bees do not bother with us mere mortals, they go right to the flowers).
We've sat a few feet away and watched them bumble their way into the
flower. The Chalcedon Checkerspot lives on this species and sequesters
Iridoid glycosides from the plant, making the larvae poisonous and
adults unpalatable. So, unless you're a butterfly, do not eat this
Black figwort looks woodsy. Suitable for a shady woodland garden, or
open, sunny coastal garden, out of the wind. We've seen this on a north
slope in Arroyo Grande in oil sand, in Lompoc in open beach sand and in
Avila in horrible sand on hard pan. Rainfall is about 18"/year. A rare
plant that is native from Avila to Lompoc. Beautiful, unusual flowers.
Associated plants include Diplacus aurantiacus, Baccharis pilularis consanguinea, Artemisia californica, Salvia mellifera, and Elymus condensatus.
Scrophularia atrata tolerates sand.
Foliage of Scrophularia atrata has color green and is evergreen.
Flower of Scrophularia atrata has color red.
Communities for Scrophularia atrata:Chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub.