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Products > Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen'
Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen' - Santa Lucia Monkey Flower

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Phrymaceae (previously Scrophulariaceae)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Apricot
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [M. aurantiacus var. grandiflorus]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen' (Santa Lucia Monkey Flower) - A small shrubby Monkeyflower to 2 feet tall and as wide with narrow glossy-green leaves and bright tangerine-orange colored flowers in spring and summer. The flowers are particularly large for a Monkeyflower and have distinctive notched petal lobes, which is indicated by the plants specific name 'bifidus'. Plant in part to full sun in a well-drained soil and give occasional irrigation not as drought tolerant as some other Monkeyflowers that come from hotter, drier locales, but still tolerant of going fairly long between watering, especially in coastal gardens. Hardy to around 15-20 F. A light pruning after flowering helps tidy up and shape this plant. A great plant for dry shade and like other Monkeyflowers this plant is an excellent habitat and nectar plant that attracts bees and hummingbirds. Additionally the Checkerspot Butterfly will lay eggs on the foliage of this plant. Another common name for this plant is Prostrate Monkeyflower. This plant was selected from the Big Sur area in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. The name Esselen comes from the name for the tribe of indigenous native people who inhabited the central Big Sur coast and extended over the Santa Lucia and Gabilan ranges to the edge of the Salinas Valley. The species Mimulus bifidus, including the subspecies fasciculatus, which this plant likely would have originally been described as is also called the Prostrate Monkey flower. This taxon is currently Diplacus aurantiacus var. grandiflorus in the newest treatment of the Jepson Manual and Jepson Flora project. . In the newest treatment of the tribe Mimuleae, which includes Diplacus, Mimulus, and Mimetanthe, these plants have been removed from the Figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, and placed with the genus Phryma (previously included in Verbenaceae) into the new family Phrymaceae. The woody species of Mimulus that are the parents of most of the hybrids have been separated into the genus Diplacus in the past, then gone back to Mimulus, but in the current treatment in the UC Berkeley Jepson eFlora all of the woody Mimulus are back in the genus Diplacus. This change has not been accepted by all and not to cause undo confusion for our customers and staff, we continue to use the name Mimulus until such time as this name change is more widely known. The original generic name is from the Latin word 'mimus' meaning "mimic actor" that is derived from the Greek word 'mimos' that means means "imitator" and references the flowers that look like painted faces. The name Diplacus comes from the Greek words 'di' meaning "two" or "double" and 'plax' or 'plakos' meaning "a flat round plate", "tablet" or "broad surface" in reference to the manner in with the fruit capsule splits. 

This information about Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.