Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scarlet Monkey Flower
Mimulus cardinalis

Family: Phrymaceae
Genus: Mimulus (MIM-yoo-luss) (Info)
Species: cardinalis (kar-dih-NAL-iss) (Info)

Synonym:Diplacus cardinalis
Synonym:Erythranthe cardinalis

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
By simple layering
By tip layering
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive mbayly On May 8, 2013, mbayly from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

Hi there, I have been participating with a few plant ecology research projects investigating the geographic range limit of Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkey Flower). I am EXTREAMLEY INTERESTED in northern populations. If you have any records of this species (natural or introduced) North of Salem Oregon I would be really interested to hear about them and add them to a distribution map!!!!

Please let me know,


Matthew Bayly

Positive Widget9 On May 4, 2009, Widget9 from Battle Ground, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I am growing Mimulus cardinalis (Scarlet Monkey Flower) in Battle Ground WA and had many nights around 20 degrees this winter and my plants continue to thrive. I have them mulched well with bark for the winter. I am growing some in morning sun, afternoon shade that is only slightly moist and they are spreading well, but not aggressively - and they are easy to remove if they spread where you don't want them. I am moving some to a sunnier and wetter bog location this week and also some to a shadier, dryer location as an experiment this year to see how each does. Will report back. Treat these like chrysanthemums as far as trimming them back when they get about 12 to 18 inches high to force more compact growth. This will help them from getting tall and leggy later in the summer.

Positive sewlady On May 6, 2004, sewlady from Gadsden, AL wrote:

I have had this plant before, mine was purple, and was a beautiful plant. I had it about 4 years and then last year ,it just did not come back. I would like to know where to buy some more of them . I understand they come in several different colors. Each year mine would come back, multiplie very fast,and the blooms droop down and look like a little monkey face. They have multiple blooms. I would love to have some in each color.

Neutral Baa On Oct 20, 2001, Baa wrote:

A creeping perennial from West USA and Mexico.

Has toothed, light green, ovate, downy leaves on erect hairy stems. Bears bright red, tubular, slightly flatterned at the sides (bit like pinched in cheeks) flowers sometimes with a yellow spotting in the throat.

Flowers July - September

Likes a moist or boggy, humus rich, fertile soil in full sun or light shade. Will spread where happy and produces quite a lot of seed.

Not fully hardy but will stand some frosts to about 23F.

Slugs can be a problem.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Flagstaff, Arizona
Gilroy, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Oakland, California
Denver, Colorado
Barbourville, Kentucky
Red Wing, Minnesota
Hudson, New Hampshire
Portland, Oregon (2 reports)
Austin, Texas
Battle Ground, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington

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