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Mimulus from Down Under

There may be those who feel enough has been said about sticky monkeyflower on this site. But when Catmint told me she grew this California native in her Australian garden, I had to know more.



This is the mimulus or sticky monkey flower I have in my garden. It’s not flowering at the moment (autumn) but I think you can see how happy and healthy it is. This one has orange flowers, others available have cream flowers.

It has had very harsh treatment. It has been transplanted about 5 times. It has been radically cut back.  It has been exposed to our horrendous summer and was not watered except when first transplanted.

I obtained this Mimulus auranticus from a nursery called The Diggers Club.  The Diggers
Club  (www.*diggers*.com.au) is more than a nursery. It is an important and wonderful institution for gardening in Melbourne and further afield. They have a beautiful garden open to the public and specialize in sourcing and propagating heirloom fruit and vegetables, and unusual and drought resistant perennials.  I have learned heaps from them, including that plants from California and the Canary Islands do particularly well in this climate. As with the mimulus in the photo. It’s so far from home, but that’s multiculturalism for you … it works.

Cheers, CM

Visit Catmint’s blog, Diary of a Suburban Gardener for more on water-saving gardens, plus  piquant book reviews and opinions. (The subtitle is: “Now Where Did I Leave the Secauteurs?”)

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Anna/Flowergardengirl May 22, 2009, 5:36 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. It looks dainty but after your description, I suppose not. Very interesting.

  • Alice Joyce May 22, 2009, 5:46 pm

    I thought mimulus usually died out. I had a gorgeous specimen once, that did not return. I seem to recall it was a brilliant red. I recall nothing about the species, but I’m fascinated to think there are perennial types. Also, I thought they liked/needed water – albeit, good drainage.

  • Pomona Belvedere May 22, 2009, 6:20 pm

    Catmint may have a different answer, but mine is that there are two types of mimulus: the dry-loving kind, and the wet-loving kind (some of these grow in standing water). Some people split them into Diplacus (dry) and Mimulus (wet); some don’t. If you’re interested in more on this, try this post http://www.tulipsinthewoods.com/wild-plants/sticky-monkeyflower-mimulus-auranticus-part-1/, which goes into it in more detail. (I don’t know if that link will be live when the comment goes up; if it’s not, search “Mimulus” on this site, and check out Sticky Monkeyflower Part 1.)

  • catmint May 23, 2009, 1:37 am

    I’m not familiar with the 2 types, I only know of the perennial. Thanks for the plug for my blog, Pomona, and for the opportunity to engage in some trans-hemispheric blog sharing. Cheers, catmint

  • Monica the Garden Faerie May 23, 2009, 6:57 am

    This is so interesting. The only monkey flower with which I’m familiar is the shade-loving, mixed color Mimulus hybridus.

  • lostlandscape (James) May 25, 2009, 9:14 am

    Gosh, I sorta feel proud. A California native goes abroad and does good… But Pomona, did you ever have any doubts about mimulus?

  • catmint May 27, 2009, 4:49 am

    Hi James, Another plant I think is a Californian native and is just superlatively wonderful in my Australian garden is the smoke bush. Cheers, catmint.

  • catmint May 27, 2009, 4:50 am

    and another staple round here is the Californian poppy – which I assume comes from California.

  • Pomona Belvedere May 27, 2009, 9:43 am

    Yes, Catmint, I can testify that California poppies are from California: they grow wild around here, as well as in people’s gardens.

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