Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Mimulus cardinalis Dougl. ex Benth.
- Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae)
- Flowering: April-October
- Field Marks: This species is readily distinguished by its scarlet flowers up to 2 1/2 inches long with flower stalks longer than the tube of the sepals.
- Habitat: Along streams, around springs, on wet cliffs, usually in the mountains.
- Habit: Perennial herb with creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright or ascending, branched, up to 2 1/2 feet tall, sticky-hairy.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, obovate to oblong, up to 3 1/2 inches long, sticky-hairy, pointed at the tip, tapering or rounded at the base, toothed, with 3-5 main veins, sessile and sometimes clasping the stem.
- Flowers: Several in racemes, showy, scarlet, up to 2 1/2 inches long, on stalks 2 1/2
3 1/2 inches long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below into a tube, winged, the tube up to 1 1/2 inches long, the teeth 1/6-1/4 inch long, pointed.
- Petals: 5, united to form 2 lips, scarlet, with a yellow center and hairy yellow ridges.
- Stamens: 4, extending beneath the upper lip of the flower.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Capsules oblongoid, up to 3/4 inch long, pointed at the tip, containing several narrow, pointed, wrinkled seeds.
- Notes: This is one of the showiest wildflowers in the country.
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