Mimulus pictus is a species of Monkeyflower known by the common name Calico Monkeyflower. Mimulus are called monkey-flowers because some species have flowers shaped like a monkey’s face. The generic name, Latin mimus meaning “mimic actor”, from the Greek mimos meaning “imitator” also references this.
It grows in broadleafed upland forest and cismontane woodland habitat, in open, bare, rocky, granitic, and often disturbed areas.
Mimulus pictus is a bit of an exception among the Mimulus variants: it is a small plant with short hairy and rectangular in cross-section stems and very tiny, yet eye-catching flowers. It is almost as if the dark red markings are painted onto the cream white base with a very fine brush: the tubular base of the flower is encapsulated in a dark reddish calyx of sepals with uneven lobes. The five-lobed flower has a maroon throat and the circular face is white with stark maroon veining.
Out of all Mimulus, Mimulus pictus and M. gemmiparus appear to be relatively isolated genetically. Both taxa possess morphological and ecological attributes not found in any other Mimulus species.
Common names: Calico Monkeyflower
Family: Phrymaceae. The genus had traditionally been placed in Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family).
Synonym: Eunanus pictus
Native: Central California, from the southernmost Sierra Nevada and adjacent Tehachapi Mountains in Tulare and Kern Counties.
Plant type: Annual. Herb.
Hardiness: Hardy. USDA 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
Light: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade
Soil: Acidic, Neutral, Well-drained but moist
Moisture: Average Water
Flowering period: March – May
Flower Color: Maroon, White, Pink, Purple
Repeat Bloomer: Yes
Fragrant: Tell us if you know
Height: under 15 cm (6 in)
Spread: 15 – 22 cm (6 – 9 in)
Time to plant: Tell us if you know
Propagation: from stem cuttings, from seed
Uses: Border plant. Decorative. In pots.
Fertilizer: Tell us if you know
Invasive: Tell us if you know
Has Thorns: No
Edible: Tell us if you know
Toxity: Tell us if you know
Tips: Cut heads if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.
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Safety notes: This website is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice, and please check with your doctor before using plants if you are pregnant, using medications or have other health conditions.