Mimulus ringens, Monkey Flower


A potted specimen at the nursery showing overall form

Monkey flower? I don't see a monkey, maybe you don't either. Mimulus has a root in the Latin mimus and further back, Greek mimos, so I'm thinking mimicry (of maybe another plant) rather than monkeys, although ringens has roots in Latin, too -something about laughing or snarling. So who knows, maybe it's a monkey after all.

Aside from all that nomenclature, Mimulus ringens is a plant with great form that sits well in a more traditional garden provided it receives ample moisture. Otherwise, this purple-flowered plant is well suited to a rain garden, wetland edge, lake shore, or other wet site. It's a keeper.

Blooms: purple with a bit of white, late June into early September

Height: 16 to 24 inches

Conditions: sun to pt shade, wet to moist-medium soils 

An iPhone closeup of Monkey Flower bloom.


Monkey Flower with buds, just before blooming