The species are showy plants, of the easiest culture, in almost any soil or situation not over dry.
They are perennials in the green-house, where they are easily propagated from cuttings. In the open ground they are annuals, flowering profusely the same season, from seed. I have known them stand through the winter, in a moist place, that was covered with ice the most of the season.
The seeds are almost as fine as dust, and require considerable attention to get them up.
I have found seeds, self-sown in the autumn, to come up freely in the spring, commencing flowering in June, and continuing in bloom till October.
They seem to succeed best in a moist and rather shaded place.
Mimulus rivularis has the reputation of producing a great number of beautiful species, (as we are informed by an English periodical), "as Youngii, Smithii, Elpkinstonea, Rowsoneana, Wheelariana, Ranbyana, etc. This plant delights in a rich, moist soil, mixe . with sand, and if it be a little shady it is beneficial; the colors of the flower are better, and the plant more vigorous. A free supply of water is necessary, in order to grow this successfully. I have had a single plant grow three feet and a half high, and be six feet in circumference, producing a vast profusion of flowers, most amply repaying the little extra attention paid to its culture. When I obtained this plant at first, I was instructed to grow it in a small, shallow pond, keeping the roots immersed in water. I was told it would there succeed far better than by any other method; but in this particular I find it very much to the contrary. A soil as above described, and a good supply of water in dry weather, are all that is required. I had a plant of M. Elphinstonea, grown in a pot this summer, the size above particularized. The species and all its varieties are readily increased by taking off rooted shoots, or by cuttings. Seed sown in spring, and the plants pricked out into a bed of rich soil, will flower by July, and continue through the season. The impregnation of these kinds, with any or all of the others, produces a pleasing and interesting variation of flowers."
The flowers are tubular, with fine, wide-spreading segments; the ground color, all shades of yellow, from light straw to deep orange, beautifully spotted or blotched with crimson or scarlet. On some varieties there is a large blotch or spot on each segment of the corolla, while the throat of the plant is beautifully spotted or mottled. It is a flower very much given to sporting.
M. cardinalis is another very ornamental species, with brilliant scarlet flowers, with varieties having rose or orange-colored blossoms. It requires the same treatment as the other varieties, and is equally rapid in its growth. I have not, however, ever raised plants as large as the one described above.
M. moschalus. - Musk-scented. - This is well known as the Musk Rant. It is dwarf in its habit, with small yellow flowers, requiring the same soil and treatment as with the other species and varieties.
There are many other species or varieties of this curious plant, all pretty.