MONKEYFLOWER

Mimulus guttatus

Monkeyflower Family [Phrymaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8orange
morph
morph=Zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZtrumpet
stem
stem8round

9th June 2009, Blackleach Resr, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Grows upright to 2 feet tall either slightly in or close-by fresh water.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Also sprawls about lowish particularly in shallow wet places. Has several trumpet-shaped yellow flowers, usually held out horizontally.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are silkily shiny, oval, in opposite pairs, and have teeth.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The flower has a larger lower lip, and emerges loosely from a cusped greenish sepal tube, which can take on a purplish hue. The paired-up leaves have blunt rounded teeth. Upper half has sticky glandular hairs.


9th June 2009, Blackleach Resr, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Flowers are a deep yellow, with five petals, the lower petal being longer and with a slight nick. The inside of the throat has several small scattered red or orange spots.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The sepal tube or calyx is five-sided with concave surfaces and pointed teeth, the upper of which is longer in Monkeyflower.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
There may also be several orange spots on the outer tube part of the flower


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Throat of flower relatively open (rather than nearly closed). Two inconspicuous bulges that would otherwise partially close the throat.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
The text books keep remarking on whether the flower is sterile or fertile, but no anthers or stamens can be discerned. They must be hidden, for Monkeyflower is fertile.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Upper calyx tube teeth is longer than the other four. Sticky glandular hairs apparent on (square) flower stem.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Complete with a Hoverfly, this one being Epistrophe grossulariae. Upper calyx tooth appears round here. Monkeyflower is quite a variable plant.


Bamford Mill Dam, Bamford, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Mid-greenLeaves with a silky sheen, teeth triangular but rounded at tips. Duck feather on one leaf. Calyx tubes turned maroon after losing flower.


Some similarities to : Musk (Mimulus moschatus), but that has five regular petals, all of equal size and shape, whereas all of the other various types or hybrids of Monkeyflower have bi-symmetric flowers.

Lookee-Likees : You can tell it is a Monkeyflower, but may be unsure exactly which one out of the possible nine others.

Not to be confused with: Monkey-Puzzle Tree.

The flowers themselves have some resemblance, in both shape and internal markings, to : Indian Bean Tree (aka Southern Catalpa) (Catalpa bignonoides), Western Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), Yellow Catalpa (Catalpa ovata) and Foxglove Tree (Paulownia tomentosa) but which are all trees.

No relation to : Monkey Orchid [a plant with similar name but of a differing family].

This is the most common variety of Monkeyflower to be found in the lowlands. Monkeyflower is fertile, with pollen on the anthers, but partially fertile or sterile hybrids of it including Hybrid Monkeyflower (Mimulus × robertsii) are otherwise indistinguishable from it. Book-written text is all very confusing, and in some cases contradictory!

[The author intensely dislikes books with keys which pretend to automate the identification process but in the end only roboticize it. Confusion and obfuscation are words that come to mind when using keyed ID processes. The author would much prefer a cross-grid type identification process, where a more diffuse consensus can emerge from erroneous or contradictory inputs, and a more appropriate average taken by eye with considered reasoning, taking into account other factors such as BSBI UK distribution. A diagrammatic approach is worth a thousand words. We are not Robots, we are Men; we are Devo!].

Monkeyflowers are complicated, with numerous hybrids abounding, for which details are listed under the entries for Coppery Monkeyflower and Hybrid Monkeyflower.

The common or garden bedding plant 'Monkeyflower' is actually a cross between Mimulus cupreus Mimulus smithii called Mimulus × hybridus, and which does not seem to require fresh running water nor to bathe in a wet place, unlike all other plants belonging to the Mimulus Genus. It is available from garden centres in not only yellow but a small spectrum of differing colours.

The bitter leaves of Monkeyflower have previously been used in salads, becoming more bitter with age.


  Mimulus guttatus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Phrymaceae  

Distribution
 family8Monkeyflower family8Phrymaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Mimulus
Mimulus
(Monkeyflowers)

MONKEYFLOWER

Mimulus guttatus

Monkeyflower Family [Phrymaceae]

WildFlowerFinder Homepage