Mimulus ringens

(Allegheny Monkey Flower)

Mimulus ringens' distrubution seems to be somewhat in debate. Many claim it grows only in Maine and up into Quebec, but I have seen it grown throughout much of the US with the exception of the deserty states(ie Nevada, Arizona) and southern Florida, so don't hesitate to give this wildflower a go in your rain garden. Monkey Flower produces viola-like flowers of a light lilac color, spotted with yellow in the middle that seem to pop from the end of their leaves. These flowers bloom at the height of summer and can be found in the margins of lakes and ponds and in wet meadows. Mimulus ringens grows to a modest three feet. But why is it called a Monkey Flower? Because of the resemblence of its seed to the face of a monkey. Monkey Flower is also known as square-stemmed Monkey Flower or Estuarine Monkey Flower.