Erythranthe lewisii (formerly Mimulus lewisii)
Purple monkeyflower (aka pink monkeyflower or Lewis' monkeyflower) is a perennial wildflower that flaunts clusters of exceptionally showy, pinkish-purple that are covered in sticky hairs in the summertime. It grows up to three feet tall from stout, branching rhizomes along rivers, streams, ponds and wet meadows and is adored by hummingbirds.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant
- Size at maturity: 12”-36” tall, about 12 wide
- Light requirements: full sun
- Moisture requirements: moist to wet soil, may require moderate summer water
- Bloom time: May - Aug
- Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate and easy to grow in the right conditions
- Wildlife support: flowers attract and provide nectar for hummingbirds, adult butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators; foliage hosts caterpillars/larvae of several species of native butterflies and moths; fruits/seeds are food for birds.
- Native habitat/range: locally common in moist riverbanks, wet-meadows and forested, alpine and subalpine areas from Alaska to California and east to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado - specifically common on both sides of the Cascade crest throughout the Pacific Northwest. Portland Plant List - no (though there are documented occurrences in east Multnomah County)
- Special features & uses: hummingbird and butterfly favorite, deer resistant, landscape uses include sunny pollinator gardens, rain gardens or bogs.
Gardening with Purple Monkeyflower: This lovely perennial is typically found growing in large patches in sunny bogs, seeps or riparian areas at higher altitudes - making it ideal for our customers living outside the core Metro area, at high altitudes in the Cascades. Unless you have a sunny wetland or bog, it will likely require regular supplemental water during the summer drought (deeply, once/wk).
Photo Credit 1: Nikkie West, Sparrowhawk Native Plants
Photo Credit 2: "Mimulus lewisii on Cascade Pass Trail" by brewbooks is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Photo Credit 3: "Mimulus lewisii Purple monkey-flower" by brewbooks is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.