Common Yellow Monkeyflower

Mimulus guttatus

Mimulus guttatus

Color: Yellow

Common name: Common Yellow Monkeyflower, Seep Monkey Flower

Latin name: Mimulus guttatus

Family: SCROPHULARIACEAE

Height: 4-31.5 inches

Description: Mimulus guttatus is a highly variable plant, taking many forms. It has disproportionately large, 20 to 40 mm long, tubular flowers. The perennial form spreads with stolons or rhizomes. The stem may be erect or recumbent. In the latter form, roots may develop at leaf nodes. Sometimes dwarfed, it may be hairless or have some hairs. The bright yellow flowers are born on an unbranched inflorescence, most often with five or more flowers. The calyx has five lobes that are much shorter than the flower. Each flower has bilateral symmetry and has two lips. The upper lip usually has two lobes; the lower, three. The lower lip may have one large to many small red to reddish-brown spots. The opening to the flower is hairy

Leaf: Leaves are opposite, round to oval, usually coarsely and irregularly toothed or lobed.

Range: California

Habitat: Common. Wet places, generally terrestrial, sometimes emergent or floating in mats

Elevation: < 2500 m.

Flowering time: Mar–Aug

Notes: Both annual and perennial forms occur throughout the species' range. It is found in a wide range of habitats including the splash zone of the Pacific Ocean, the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, alpine meadows, serpentine barrens, and even on the toxic tailings of copper mines. It is sometimes aquatic, its herbage floating in small bodies of water. Mimulus guttatus is cultivated in the specialty horticulture trade and available as an ornamental plant for: Traditional gardens; natural landscape, native plant, and habitat gardens. Distribution outside California: to Alaska, w Canada, Rocky Mtns, n Mexico. This photo was taken on April 12, 2008 in Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kern County, California.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

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