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Mimulus ringens

Allegheny monkeyflower add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 1'-3'

Bloom Time: June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: purple, pink, lilac, lavender, blue

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, clumping, colonizing, deer resistant, emergent, naturalizing, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, wetland plant

Mimulus ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)
  • Mimulus ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)
  • Mimulus ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)
  • Mimulus ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)
  • Mimulus ringens (Allegheny monkeyflower)

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Description

Mimulus ringens

Also known as:

Allegheny monkeyflower

,

estuary monkeyflower

,

square-stemmed monkeyflower

,

square-stemmed monkey flower

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Mimulus ringens has been attributed the common name monkey flower for the supposed resemblance of the the flowers to a monkey's face. It is an upright perennial wildflower with square, often branching stems, that grows to a height of 1' to 3', sometimes taller in ideal conditions. The leaves are light green, opposite, lance-shaped and coarsely serrated. Purplish flowers reminiscent of snapdragons are about an inch long, and emerge from the leaf axils on the upper half of the plant. It has a rhizomatous root system, and matures into tidy, dense clumps.

Cultivation

Mimulus ringens is native to moist meadows and prairies, as well as wet areas and lowlands that are commonly subject to standing water or occasional flooding. It is best used in wet spots, or around water feature where the plants will be guaranteed ample moisture throughout the year. It may be grown in more typical garden settings, so long as the soil is not allowed to dry out. Allegheny monkey flower is easy to grow in rich soil, but is very adaptable and will even tolerate heavy clay. It prefers full to part-sun. It will colonize by both its rhizomatous root system, and by seed under ideal conditions, yet does not do so aggressively. The bloom period is long-lasting, extending for over a month, from mid-summer to early fall. This species is an excellent choice for use around water features, or in the wet area of a rain garden. Zones 3-8

Propagation

Can be propagated by clump division, root cuttings, and by seed.

Additional Notes

Often overlooked, and certainly under-utilized, Mimulus ringens is an excellent choice for use in rain gardens. It has a rhizomatous root system that helps stabilize the soil, yet does not spread aggressively. In other words, it will “play nice” with other rain garden favorites such as swamp milkweed, any species of Joe-pye and lobelias, sedges and more. What’s up with botanical names? Well, sometimes I wonder! A monkey face is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I look at these flowers. Nevertheless, there you have it. The genus Mimulus, is derived from Latin, and means “small mime” (think “mime” as in “aping”, to get the monkey connection). The specific epithet, ringens, is derived from the Latin word ringo, which means to grin. This is either a reference to the resemblance with happy monkey, or to the large (agape) opening to the throat of the corolla created by its 2 upper and 3 lower lobes.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Scrophulariales
Family Scrophulariaceae Figwort family
Genus Mimulus monkeyflower
Species Mimulus ringens Allegheny monkeyflower