Mimulus alatus
Common Name: winged monkey flower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Phrymaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Pale blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil

Culture

Best grown in organically rich, moist to wet soils in part shade. Tolerates full sun, but soils must not be allowed to dry out. Tolerates occasional flooding. Naturalizes in optimum growing conditions by both self-seeding and creeping rhizomes.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Mimulus alatus, commonly called winged monkey flower, is a rhizomatous upright perennial that typically grows to 1-3' tall on square stems clad with stalked, serrate-margined, lanceolate to ovate leaves (to 2-4" long). The square stems have thin wings (flanges) along the edges and each flower purportedly resembles the face of a smiling monkey, hence the common name. It is native to stream and pond margins, wet meadows, swampy areas, ditches and moist woodlands in eastern North America from Ontario to New York and Nebraska south to Texas and Florida. In Missouri, it is found throughout the State, except the far northwestern corner (Steyermark). Pale blue or violet (sometimes pale pink) snapdragon-like flowers (to 1" long) bloom singly from the leaf axils on short stalks throughout summer (late June-early September). Each flower has a tubular calyx and a two-lipped corolla. The upper lip has 2 folded lobes and the lower lip is 3-lobed. This species is similar to Mimulus ringens except it has short-stalked flowers and well-stalked leaves whereas M. ringens has long-stalked flowers and sessile leaves.

Genus name comes from the Latin diminutive of mimus meaning a mimic as they look like a monkey face.

Specific epithet from Latin means winged in reference to the winged plant stems.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best naturalized in moist to wet soils in water gardens, bog gardens, wet meadows, water margins or low spots. May be grown in moist soils in borders as long as soils do not dry out.