Scientific name

Mimulus L.

Common names

monkey flower



Native distribution

North America

Species cultivated

Mimulus cardinalis Douglas ex. Benth.

M. ringens L.

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

not weedy


amphibious herb, emergent or seasonally submerged; some terrestrial species with diverse morphology

Brief description

Small, ascending to erect, rhizomatous. Stems creeping to erect, ± branched, glabrous or with sticky hairs. Leaves opposite, decussate; sessile or amplexicauline; leaf blade lanceolate to oblong or obovate, glabrous to downy; apex acute; base attenuate to round; margin typically serrate; venation pinnate. Flowers solitary in leaf axils; pedicellate; typically lavender to blue-violet, orange to red, less often yellow or white; calyx tube 5-lobed, lobes acute to acuminate, ± puberulent to hairy; corolla tube 2-lipped, upper lip erect, 2-lobed, sometimes reflexed, lower lip 3-lobed, often with 2 pubescent ridges, lateral lobes may be strongly reflexed; stamens 4, filaments adnate to corolla tube; stigma 2-lobed, often sensitive.

Natural habitat

in moist to wet areas along streams, pond margins, springs, and seepages, in areas prone to occasional flooding or standing water

Additional comments

A genus of over 150 species, with many in wetland and riparian habitats.