December 13, 2017

Sticky Monkey

Mimulus - Monkey flower

Mimulus - Monkey flower - Photo courtesy of Forest's Edge Garden

Mimulus has a fun common name, monkey flower, which comes from the shape of the bloom and sometimes the markings, often resembling little monkey faces. Described as “rather rampant plants,” by Brit Graham Stuart Thomas in “Perennial Garden Plants,” the family can range from a few inches in size to 6-foot shrubs. A member of the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae), mimulus is native to western North America. One site online for hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains shows a picture of a mimulus quite similar to the one pictured above and says the following: “Those conspicuous bushes with the light-orange flowers you are seeing on hikes right now are a species of monkey flower known as Sticky Monkey flower or Bush Monkey flower.” Mimulus makes an excellent annual in our climate, running “rampant” in pots all summer long.

Today’s Daily Plant is a collaboration of Garden Maine and Forest’s Edge Garden in Hampden, which grows mimulus.