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Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet monkeyflower)
Cressler, Alan

Mimulus cardinalis

Mimulus cardinalis Douglas ex Benth.

Scarlet Monkeyflower, Crimson Monkeyflower, Scarlet Monkey-flower

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Diplacus cardinalis, Erythranthe cardinalis, Mimulus cardinalis var. exsul, Mimulus cardinalis var. griseus, Mimulus cardinalis var. rigens, Mimulus cardinalis var. verbenaceus, Mimulus verbenaceus

USDA Symbol: MICA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Scarlet Monkey-flower is a large-flowered, robust perennial with 10-30 in. stems. The flowers are carried high above the leaves and are of a peculiar shape. The lower lip is swept backward and the stamens extend beyond the upper lip. All parts of the flower are a brilliant, red-orange hue.

The handsome red flowers of this plant attract hummingbirds.


From the Image Gallery

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Throat usually yellowish. Corollas rarely yellow.


USA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , OR , UT
Native Distribution: S.w. OR & CA, e. to NV, extreme s.w. UT & AZ
Native Habitat: Stream banks & seeps below 8000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Older stems need to be trimmed back periodically or the growth becomes floppy and unsightly. This plant reseeds freely.


Use Wildlife: Crimson monkey flower attracts hummingbirds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Easily increased through root divisions of the ever-enlarging clumps. Seeds may also be used.
Seed Treatment: Seeds germinate without pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Mimulus cardinalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mimulus cardinalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mimulus cardinalis


Record Modified: 2023-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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