Mimulus is a genus of flowering plants in family Phrymaceae, comprising about 150 species. It is commonly known as Monkey flower or Musk flower. Mimulus are called Monkey flower because some species have flowers shaped like a monkey's face, others have painted faces resembling a monkey. Some species produce copious amounts of aromatic compounds, given them a musky odor, hence the name Musk flower.
Most species of Mimulus are annuals or herbaceous perennial, but a few species are sub shrubs with woody stems. A large number of the species grow well in reliably moist soil, and some do best in bog gardens or near the margins of a natural pond. They can also be grown in borders that have deep, fertile soil that does not dry out in summer. They are good companion plants for hostas. The perennials are often short-lived but they will self-seed. Mimulus are grown for its colorful flowers, which attract bees and hummingbirds.
Mimulus cardinalis ( Scarlet monkey flower) is native to the southwestern United States and Baja California. It is an attractive perennial with toothed, downy leaves and bears red or orange-red flowers in late summer. Cut back after flowering to encourage new growth. It is sometimes grown in gardens as ornamental plants for its blooms, which attract hummingbirds.
Mimulus kelloggii is known by the common name Kellogg's monkeyflower. It is native to mountains and foothills of northern California and southern Oregon. Mimulus kelloggii is an annual herb with a hairy stem, growing up to 31 cm tall. Its oppositely arranged leaves are green in color, sometimes with purple underside. The flowers are funnel-shaped, reddish-purple in color with darkening in the throat where it is spotted with yellow.
Plant Mimulus in full sun or light shade, in fertile, moist, neutral to acid soil. Propagation is by seed or division in spring. Pests and diseases are slugs, snails and also mildew.