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Mimulus nanus (Dwarf purple monkeyflower)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Mimulus nanus

Mimulus nanus Hook. & Arn.

Dwarf Purple Monkeyflower

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Mimulus tolmiei


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A little plant, covered with glandular hairs, bearing stems with 1 or many branches and rich reddish-lavender, bilaterally symmetrical flowers on short stalks in upper leaf axils.

Like other desert annuals, in a year of poor rainfall Dwarf Purple Monkeyflower puts all its efforts into producing a new crop of seeds to ensure future generations. After growing only about 1/4" (6 mm) tall, it flamboyantly produces one comparatively huge flower that seems to sit directly on the ground. In years of ample moisture, plants will be branched and up to 4" (10 cm) tall, bearing dozens of flowers.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 4 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: CA , CO , ID , MT , NV , OR , WA , WY
Native Distribution: Central Washington south to northern California and east to northeastern Nevada, northwestern Wyoming, and southwestern Montana.
Native Habitat: Dry open areas on sagebrush plains and in open pine forests.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

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.

Web Reference

Webref 62 - Burke Herbarium Image Collection (2020) University of Washington
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 nanus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Mimulus nanus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Mimulus nanus


Record Modified: 2023-05-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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