In spring, in the coastal thickets of sage and chaparral, bright bushes of the monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus) bloom. Colors range from salmon, orange, and bronze to deep red. The monkey shrub has an unusual adaptation to promote pollination. Before fertilization, the stigma is open and looks like a white lobed plate. When combed by insects, the petals are folded together. If pollen is deposited, the stigma remains closed, protecting the pollen and initiating fertilization and seed development. Otherwise, it opens again.
The gummy resin produced by the leaf glands acts as a deterrent for the larvae of the variable, checkered butterfly, for which the species is the host plant. This resin can also prevent water loss.
Mimulus aurantiacus or Monkeyflowers are excellent Chilean cultivators; a series of bright yellow snapdragons (a plant with thorns of vibrant two-lobed flowers) opens like a mouth when a bee lands on a curved lip) with red spots that grow in spring. When happy, Mimulus aurantiacus or Monkeyflowers will bloom in wet soil or with their feet in the water, creating a beautiful floating carpet of flowers all summer long.
Mimulus aurantiacus Characteristics
Mimulus aurantiacus, or sticky monkeyflower, is an ever-flowering plant that grows as a shrub type native to southwestern North America. Monkey flowers only grow up to 1.2 meters in height. It has dark green sticky leaves that are 3 to 7 centimeters long and up to 1 inch wide with flowers growing. The flowers are tubular at the base, about 2 centimeters long, with five broad lobes; they come in different shades from white to red, most often light orange. Bees and hummingbirds pollinate them. The stigmas are very sensitive and usually close upon touch.
The genus Mimulus aurantiacus has been the subject of taxonomic debate. It is currently part of the Lopseed family but was previously in Scrophularia. Some reputable sources prefer to indicate this genus as Diplacus. Within this species are six known varieties, differing in flower size, color, and other features.
Mimulus aurantiacus Size
Mimulus aurantiacus, or sticky monkeyflower, is an ever-flowering plant that grows as a shrub type native to southwestern North America, from southwestern Oregon south to most of California in Baja, Mexico. Mimulus aurantiacus is not very tall and only grows up to 1.2 meters in height. It has dark green sticky leaves that are 3 to 7 centimeters long and up to 1 inch wide with flowers growing.
Mimulus aurantiacus Seeds
At the end of flowering, the Mimulus aurantiacus forms a pod with seeds. You can collect seeds and start seedlings in early spring or buy seeds. The seeds need refrigeration before they germinate. The cover of the seeds will crack from the cold.
To germinate the seeds:
- Apply them on a damp paper towel or a damp plant mixture.
- If you are using a paper towel, keep it in a plastic bag. You can also press the seeds into the planting mixture and close the pot with a plastic bag.
- If the seeds need refrigeration, keep them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for a month. When you take them out of the fridge, they think spring has come, and they will burst soon.
- If you have seeds on a paper towel, press the towel into the planting mixture, and roots will sprout through the towel.
- When the seeds germinate, try to keep them moist and separate the seedlings as soon as they have three to four leaves.
- Only native Mimulus aurantiacus survive effectively in high temperatures and droughts. Periodic grooming is required for good growth. Mimulus aurantiacus is a good candidate for making your garden beautiful.
For best results, plant the seeds of Mimulus aurantiacus right away in good soil compost. Cover the seeds with fine gravel or compost to a suitable depth for the plant to grow. For faster germination, the ideal temperature range for sowing seeds is 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. Usually, seeds are planted in an unheated greenhouse, and we can wait for natural germination. Many springs have built-in dormancy mechanisms that often retain their natural spring germination, which gives them the entire growing season, hence effective growing.
Mimulus aurantiacus Care
Mimulus aurantiacus or monkeyflowers grow well in bright sun and moist soil, as plants like to grow in damp soil conditions. For best results, try to avoid drying soil during high temperatures and dry conditions. Mimulus aurantiacus can ideally grow in containers, and they prosper more in a pot.