Allegheny monkeyflower

(Mimulus ringens var. ringens)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Allegheny monkeyflower

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

Common and widespread

 
Habitat

Wet to moist. Meadows, swamps, fens, open marshy areas, streambanks, riverbanks, springs, and roadside ditches. Full or partial sun.

 
Flowering

June to August

 
Flower Color

Light lavender-blue to purplish-blue

 
Height

12 to 40

 

Identification

This is an erect, perennial forb that rises on one or more stems from a stout underground stem (rhizome) and fibrous roots. It may be 12 to 52 tall but in Minnesota is usually no more than 40 in height.

The stems are erect, sharply four-angled, light green, hairless, usually branched, and sometimes very narrowly winged.

The leaves are opposite, lance-shaped to narrowly oblong, and pinnately veined. They are stalkless and often partially surround (clasp) the stem. The larger leaves are 2 to 4¾ long, and to 1wide, 3 to 7 times as long as wide, becoming progressively smaller as they ascend the stem. They are rounded or tapered at the base and taper to a sharp point at the tip with straight or concave sides along the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are light to medium green and hairless. The margins are toothed with blunt, forward pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower rising on a long stalk from each upper leaf axil. The flower stalks are to 1½ long and have no additional leaves or bracts. As the fruit develops the stalk elongates, eventually becoming ¾ to 2 long.

The flowers are ¾ to 1½ long. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 4 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are united at the base into a narrowly funnel-shaped, to long calyx tube, then separated at the tip into 5 triangular or broadly triangular, to 5 16 long lobes. The lobes are much shorter than the tube and are not hooked at the tip. The midrib of each sepal often extends beyond the lobe as a short, stiff awn. When the fruit develops the calyx enlarges slightly but does not become inflated. The petals are light lavender-blue to purplish-blue. They are fused at the base into a corolla tube then separated into a 2-lobed upper lip and a 3-lobed lower lip. The upper lip is much smaller and narrower than the lower. It is erect and strongly bent upward. The lower lip is bent downward and has a pale yellow area toward the base with red or brownish-red spots. The base of the lower lip is swollen more or less closing the throat. Neither the stamens nor the style protrude beyond the corolla tube.

The fruit is a hairless, to ½ long, egg-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped capsule with numerous seeds.

 
Similar
Species

James’ monkeyflower (Mimulus glabratus var. jamesii) stems creep along the ground with their tips ascending. The leaves are stalked, circular to oval or kidney-shaped, and have palmate venation. The flowers are yellow.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29.


Comments

Taxonomy
The genus Mimulus was formerly placed in the family Scrophulariaceae (figwort). Molecular phylogenetic studies in 2002, 2004, and 2005, and a phylogenetic analysis in 2005, all supported the transfer of this and other genera to the family Phrymaceae.

As now circumscribed, the genus Mimulus is large, containing about 150 species. Future molecular analysis will probably result in separating the species into 2 to 10 genera. If this happens, Mimulus ringens, the type species for this genus, will remain in this genus.

Varieties
There are two varieties of Allegheny monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens). Only var. ringens is found in Minnesota.

What’s in a Name?
The genus name Mimulus, from the Greek mimos meaning “imitator”, and the common name “monkeyflower”, refer to red markings on the corolla of some of the yellow species which are said to resemble a monkey’s face.


Taxonomy

Family:

Phrymaceae (lopseed)

 
Synonyms

Mimulus minthodes

Mimulus pallidus

Mimulus ringens var. congesta

Mimulus ringens var. minthodes

 
Common
Names

Allegheny monkeyflower

Allegheny monkey-flower

square-stem monkeyflower

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

clasping

Describing a leaf that wholly or partly surrounds the stem but does not fuse at the base.

 

corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

pinnately veined

With the veins arranged like the vanes of a feather; a single prominent midvein extending from the base to the tip and lateral veins originating from several points on each side.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

wing

A thin, flat, membranous, usually transparent appendage on the margin of a structure.

       

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  Mimulus ringens (Allegheney Monkey-Flower)
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