Mimulus ringens, Monkey Flower


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 (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.

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

Height: 2 to 4 feet with adequate moisture

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

Bumblebee enjoying Monkey Flower

A potted specimen at the nursery showing upright form. Can get much taller with moisture.