This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Prostrate or erect annual or perennial herbs with opposite leaves and solitary axillary flowers. Calyx tubular, angled. Corolla bilabiate; upper lip erect or reflexed, bilobate; lower lip trilobate; anthers confluent. Capsule 2-celled, many-seeded. There are about thirty species, from North and South America and Australasia. The name is from uiuw, an ape, in allusion to the form of the flower.
1. M. luteus. Monkey Flower. - Stems ascending, stout, hollow, glabrous or glandular. Leaves ovate or oblong, 5- or more nerved, coarsely toothed. Flowers yellow with two crimson or purple spots on the lower limb. This species is a native of Chili and California, and produces its attractive flowers all the Summer. It is now frequently seen in waste places, by river-sides, etc., in this country, and is spreading very fast in some localities.
M. variegatus, syn. M. rivularis (fig. 191), and M. guttatus, are considered by some botanists as varieties of M. luteus, and by others as distinct species, and the fact that hybrids between these forms and luteus are frequent seems to strengthen the former supposition. M. variega-tus is a Chilian form, having much larger richly coloured flowers irregularly blotched with crimson, maroon, or purple on a yellow or white ground, sometimes uniformly yellow or reddish. M. guttatus is a Cali-fornian form very near the last in which the flowers are spotted with purple-brown on a yellow ground. The intermediate varieties of these three forms are numerous and beautiful.
2. M. cupreus. - This is a dwarfer species with ovate-lanceolate toothed 3-nerved glabrous leaves often tinged with red. Flowers almost regular, copper-coloured, purplish brown or crimson; limb of the corolla velvety and spotted. It is a native of Chili, and has produced many beautiful freckled and spotted varieties.
M. quinquevulnerus, a closely allied species or variety, is also very variable in the colouring of its flowers. There are varieties with lemon and orange-yellow and white grounds blotched with purple, rose or crimson. It is found in the same country.
3. M. cardinalis, syn. Diplacus cardinalis. - A perennial from 2 to 3 feet high clothed with glutinous hairs. Leaves ovate, stem-clasping. Flowers scarlet or rose, with or without dots in the throat. The lateral reflexed segments of the corolla are lobed. A native of California, flowering in Summer.
4. M. moschatus. Musk Plant. - This favourite little tufted trailer is perfectly hardy. It is readily known from its congeners not only by its agreeable musk scent, but also from its small viscid woolly leaves and relatively small nearly regular yellow flowers. A native of Oregon in North-western America.
Fig. 191. Mimulus variegatus. (1/4 nat. size.)