Scarlet Monkey Flower

Mimulus cardinalis

Scarlet Monkey Flower (Mimulus cardinalis) is a creeping, herbaceous, evergreen perennial native to western North America. Known for its striking scarlet red flowers, this species thrives in moist, streamside habitats, attracting pollinators with its distinctively colored blooms. Fun fact: due to the odd shape of the flowers, pollen is deposited on hummingbirds’ heads when they feed on the nectar, which then pollinates the next monkey flower the bird visits.

I purchased one of these at the suggestion of a worker at Loen Nursery in Oregon. When I asked if they had any salvia glutinosa (which I still haven’t found), she suggested this pretty plant as an alternative. I later found out that Scarlet Monkey Flower is not quite as drought-tolerant as salvia – but it is an unusual native, so I’m happy to have it. I placed it in a less-sunny spot that gets good moisture during summer, so we will see how it performs.


Companion Plants for Scarlet Monkey Flower

Prairie Flax, Douglas Iris, Western Columbine

      Nursery Tag

      Medium growing upright perennial. Height to 14 inches, spread to 2 feet. Prefers good soil. Flowers for 4 to 5 months beginning in May.

      Gardener's Log

      07/2023: Planted 1 gallon in lower bed behind garage. Random purchase from Dennis' 7 Dees in Vancouver WA (suggested by staff member there).

      Recently planted Scarlet Monkey Flower in a garden bed

      Photo taken July 2023

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