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Products > Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen'
Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen' - Santa Lucia Monkey Flower

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Phrymaceae (previously Scrophulariaceae)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Apricot
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [M. aurantiacus var. grandiflorus]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen' (Santa Lucia Monkey Flower) - A small shrubby Monkeyflower to 2 feet tall and as wide with narrow glossy-green leaves and bright tangerine-orange colored flowers in spring and summer. The flowers are particularly large for a Monkeyflower and have distinctive notched petal lobes, which is indicated by the plants specific name 'bifidus'. Plant in part to full sun in a well-drained soil and give occasional irrigation not as drought tolerant as some other Monkeyflowers that come from hotter, drier locales, but still tolerant of going fairly long between watering, especially in coastal gardens. Hardy to around 15-20 F. A light pruning after flowering helps tidy up and shape this plant. A great plant for dry shade and like other Monkeyflowers this plant is an excellent habitat and nectar plant that attracts bees and hummingbirds. Additionally the Checkerspot Butterfly will lay eggs on the foliage of this plant. Another common name for this plant is Prostrate Monkeyflower. This plant was selected from the Big Sur area in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. The name Esselen comes from the name for the tribe of indigenous native people who inhabited the central Big Sur coast and extended over the Santa Lucia and Gabilan ranges to the edge of the Salinas Valley. The species Mimulus bifidus, including the subspecies fasciculatus, which this plant likely would have originally been described as is also called the Prostrate Monkey flower. This taxon is currently Mimulus aurantiacus var. grandiflorus in the newest treatment of the Jepson Manual and Jepson Flora project. We continue to use the name Mimulus bifidus until this change gets wider acceptance. Mimulus is a plant genus in the family Phrymaceae but traditionally was placed in the family Scrophulariaceae. Current taxonomical studies indicate that the genus Mimulus now only has about seven species and these are from eastern North America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Madagascar. Many of the remaining species, including those from California have been assigned to the genus Erythranthe. We await broader recognition of this before we make any change to our listing so as not to confuse ourselves and our customers.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Mimulus bifidus 'Esselen'.