Mimulus 'Trish'

Trish Monkeyflower

This is a hybrid perennial that forms a compact shrub 2-3 feet tall by 1-2 feet wide. It has glossy, dark green leaves, and abundant dusky, rose-colored flowers. Grows best in full sun or light shade, with well-drained soil, and moderate watering. It is hardy to 10° F.

Monkeyflowers are so-called for their flowers' resemblance to a monkey's face. The name Mimulus stems from the Greek and Latin words Mimos and Mimus, meaning "imitator."

Wildlife value: Hummingbirds favor the flowers, and other birds eat the seeds. Large and colorful hemipterans (insects with piercing and sucking mouth parts) may be found inside Mimulus flower tubes. Caterpillars of the Common Checkerspot and Buckeye butterflies eat the foliage, and adult butterflies sip nectar from the flowers.

Other uses: Young Mimulus leaves may be eaten in salads (though, they do not taste like Jelly Beans). The entire plant is edible, but is often bitter unless well cooked. Mimulus plants tend to concentrate sodium chloride and other salts in their leaves and stem. Native Americans and early settlers sometimes used the plant as a salt substitute to flavor wild game.