Yellow Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
Yellow Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus). One of 100+ species of Pacific Northwest native plants available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Native Plant Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

Yellow Monkeyflower

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Mimulus guttatus (syn Erythranthe guttata)

Yellow Monkeyflower is a highly variable plant, taking many forms and naturally occurring in a wide range of habitats. In all cases, it sports spectacularly-bright, bearded flowers from late spring through summer that are favored by pollinators. With the arrival of fall, flowers mature to seeds that are eaten by small mammals and birds and dispersed readily in the garden. This relatively aggressive growth habit makes it a dependable groundcover in raingardens, pollinator gardens and wet meadows. 

  • Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous annual and perennial herbaceous plant
  • Size at maturity: 6-24" tall, 1-3' wide
  • Light requirements: full sun, part-sun/part-shade
  • Moisture requirements: moist to wet soil
  • Bloom time: April - September
  • Growth rate/ease: fast growth rate, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: seeds are food for small mammals and birds; flowers attract and provide nectar to hummingbirds and adult butterflies, attract and support native bees, other insect pollinators, beneficial insects, and pest eating insects; overall plant/vegetation is caterpillar host plant and larval food source
  • Native habitat/range: Common in bogs, fens, wetlands, vernal pool edges and forest openings across much of western North America. Portland Plant List - yes
  • Special features & uses: hummingbird and pollinator favorite, excellent raingarden plant, deer resistant  

Gardening with Yellow Monkeyflower: This plant will thrive in sunny no-fuss locations that have naturally moist to seasonally wet soils of nearly any kind, such as a raingarden or wet meadow. In the natural world, it is often found near streams, seeps or vernal pools that are seasonally wet but dry out by summer and where, without too much love, they're often create a sweet, diminutive groundcover. In habitat gardens with rich soil and supplemental water, this species can spread aggressively by rhizomes and seed, take on a leggier form, and be considered weedy. Control this gorgeous wildflower with a tough love approach of putting it in the right place, then leaving it alone.   

Seed Packets Contain: approx 25000 seeds (appears like dust)

Seed Sowing instructions: Can be fall or spring sown. Fall-winter sown seed may not germinate until temps warm in the spring. Spring sown should germinate within a couple of weeks. In pots outside, protect from heavy rains so seed does not get washed away and water gently. Keep soil moist.

Stratification: none

Planting depth: surface, do not cover

Seeding rate:

  • Broadcasting: approx 60 seeds/sq ft.
  • Small pots: VERY small “pinch”
  • Spots in situ: Very small “pinch”

 

Photo Credits: Nikkie West