Mimulus aurantiacus var puniceus

Southern monkeyflower

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 4' X 3'
Santa Clara County Local: No
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This red flowering version of the wide spread monkeyflower occurs in many plant communities in the southern half of the state. It grows as an open shrub with rich green lance-shaped leaves and red flowers, occasionally with orange highlights on the petals. Wherever found, monkeyflower has a distinct dormant appearance as smaller curled leaves replace the spring foliage during the heat of summer. This dormant appearance limits the appeal of the monkeyflower as an ornamental. Fortunately, with occasional water and partial shade it can be kept green throughout the summer. In Santa Clara County (Sunset zones 15 and 16), I have grown Mimulus puniceus in this way with success. An attractive companion plant is the canyon sunflower, Venegasia carpesioides, which thrives with similar treatment. Add fragrant pitcher sage, Lepechinia fragrans, for a southern themed planting. All three bloom around the same time, making for quite a display. Taxonomists now consider Mimulus puniceus a variation of Diplacus aurantiacus.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen