This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
This is an American plant of comparatively recent introduction into Europe (1812), and a member of the N. Temperate flora. Like Elodea canadensis, also introduced from America, it is now found in all parts of the country. In Skye it ascends to 1000 ft. It is found also in Ireland.
Musk grows by the waterside in most damp places, by the margins of streams, in reservoirs, and other natural or artificial pieces of water. Associated with it are Purple Loosestrife, Three-lobed Butterbur, Scorpion Grass, Gipsy Wort, Blue Skull-cap, Yellow Flag, Flowering Rush, etc.
The habit is compact, the stems rather trailing or creeping, and the whole plant is more or less bushy. The lower leaves are stalked, the upper clasping, heart-shaped, egg-shaped, smooth, shiny, veined, with six or more nerves. The stalks of the upper leaves are occasionally lobed.
I he first Latin name has reference to some supposed resemblance between the seeds and the expression of a monkey when grinning. The flower is bright-yellow with carmine spots, borne on slender flower-stalks which exceed the leaves. The teeth of the calyx are short and unequal. The corolla is 2-lipped, the upper one bilobed, turned back, the lower one spreading and 3-lobed. The petals have 2 swellings. The capsules are 2-valved and many-seeded.
Photo. Flatters & Garnett
Musk (Mimulus Langsdorffii)
Wild Musk is 2 ft. high. The flowers are in bloom from June to September. This plant is a perennial, increased by division. There is no reason why it should not be more often seen in our gardens.
In M. Langsdorffii bees first touch the inferior lobes of the stigma which lie over and cover up the anthers. The lobes are sensitive and immediately fold up and close over the pollen, and if none is enclosed they open again to receive it, and expose the anthers to the touch of the bee, which is dusted with fresh pollen. The upper lip of the corolla is turned back and 2-lobed, and the lower spreading and 3-lobed. The petals have 2 swellings on them, and they are spotted, the spots acting as honey-guides. There are 4 stamens. The stigma has 2 lamellae, which are sensitive, and close when touched on the inner side. The capsule when ripe opens for the dispersal of the seeds around the parent plant.
This gorgeous wild-flower is a peat-loving plant growing in wet peat soil.
There are apparently no fungal or insect pests.
Mimulus, Linnaeus, is a diminutive of the Greek mimus, a mimic, from the shape of the corolla, and the second name commemorates Langsdorff.
Essential Specific Characters:232. Mimulus Langsdorffii, Donn. - Stem erect or creeping, leaves ovate, lower petioled, dentate, upper amplexicaul, flowers yellow, with purple spots, in the axils, solitary.