Cardinal Monkey Flower
Common name: Scarlet Monkeyflower, Cardinal Monkey Flower
Latin name: Mimulus cardinalis
Height: 10-31 inches
Description: Mimulus cardinalis is a fairly large, spreading, attractive plant which bears strongly reflexed, nectar-rich red or orange-red flowers. Occasional populations of yellow-flowered Mimulus cardinalis — which lack anthocyanin pigments in their corollas — are found in the wild.
Leaf: The leaves are toothed and downy.
Range: Short Canyon, California Floristic Province, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert Mountains (Panamint Mtns)
Habitat: Moist to wet places along streams, seepage areas
Elevation: < 2400 m
Flowering time: Apr–Oct
Notes: Mimulus cardinalis is cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available as an ornamental plant for: traditional gardens; natural landscape, native plant, and habitat gardens; and various types of municipal, commercial, and agency sustainable landscape projects. Cultivars come in a range of colors between yellow and red, including the "Santa Cruz Island Gold" variety, originally collected from Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California.
Pollination: Its blooms and large nectar load attract hummingbirds, whose foreheads serve as the pollen transfer surface between flowers. Mimulus cardinalis, a dicot, is a perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America.
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.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
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