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Plant Families / Mimulus - Monkey Flowers

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Mimulus - Monkey Flowers

Offering gorgeous color in the garden, Mimulus is a genus of annuals, perennials or evergreen shrubs, with paired leaves and showy trumpet-shaped flowers, broadly flared at their tips and said to resemble a smiling monkey's face. The genus contains only seven species, two native to eastern North America and the other five native to Asia, Australia, Africa, or Madagascar. Most prefer full sun and wet or moist areas, but some are drought tolerant and colorful additions to arid gardens.


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Mimulus aurantiacus (Bush Monkey Flower)

A colorful southern Oregon, California and Baja California native, award-winning Mimulus aurantiacus (Bush Monkey Flower) is a bushy evergreen shrub with narrow, lanceolate, dark-green leaves typically 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm) on very sticky stems, and flowering stems that grow vertically. Trumpet-shaped, the exuberant flowers, 1.2 in long (3 cm), are tubular at the base with five broad lobes.

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Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkey Flower)

A colorful southwestern United States and Baja California native, award-winning Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkey Flower) is a creeping, upright, evergreen perennial with toothed, downy, pale green leaves typically 4 in. long (10 cm), on erect sticky-hairy flowering stems. Brilliant red or orange-red, 2-lipped tubular flowers, 2 in. long (5 cm), bloom nearly continuously from the leaf axils over a long season extending from spring to fall.

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Mimulus guttatus (Yellow Monkey Flower)

Mimulus guttatus (Yellow Monkey Flower) is a short-lived, spreading, mat-forming perennial boasting bright yellow, snapdragon-shaped flowers spotted with red on the lower lobes. Borne in succession from early spring to late summer, the showy blossoms are borne on leafy stalks in the upper leaf axils. They are pollinated by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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Mimulus primuloides (Primrose Monkey Flower)

Mimulus primuloides (Primrose Monkey Flower) is a rhizomatous, mat-forming perennial forming little rosettes of hairy, pale to mid-green leaves. In early to late summer, trumpet-shaped, bright yellow flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), with red-spotted throats are borne on short wiry stems. The blossoms are pollinated by bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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