Monkey flower is a very lovely plant that blooms in mid July in western New York. The light blue flowers make an excellent addition to a perennial border. Monkey flower is naturally found in wet meadows and along stream banks in its native areas. We have planted it on a semi-shaded berm where it form a nice bush like plant covered in blossoms. The soil had a lot of organic matter which holds moisture that this plant needs.
The flower is said to resemble a monkeys face. The flowers form in the leaf axils along the stem. The two lipped corollas's lower petal has 3 lobes the upper one two lobes forming the face. The center of the flower is yellow. The opposite leaves clasp the stem.
This is an unusual plant that will serve in a very moist or wet area. Monkey flower blooms in between those early spring blooming plants and the fall blooming plants. Monkey flower is a host plant for Common Buckeye, Baltimore checker spots as well as Chalcedony Midge moth. It also serves nectar for bumble bees.
Great companions are green coneflower, swamp milkweed, New England aster, Joe-pye weed, anise hyssop, and obedient plant. This is a wonderful plant that spreads by seed and rhizomes. Monkey Flower grows to about 1.5 to 3 feet. Moist to wet soil and full sun to part shade will make this plant thrive.
Mimulus ringens - Monkey flower
-Thrives in moist to wet soils
-Delicate blue flowers
-Host plant for Chalcedony Midge moth and Common Buckeye, Baltimore Checker-spot butterflies
-Height: 1.5 to 3 feet
-Zone: 4 to 9