The Double Cone Quarterly
Window to the Wilderness
Summer Solstice 1999 || Volume II, Number 2


FEATURE FLOWER


Santa Lucia Sticky Monkeyflower
Mimulus aurantiacus bifidus



Mimulus aurantiacus Curtis var. bifidus (Pennell) Yadon
[M. bifidus Pennell subsp. fasciculatus Pennell, Diplacus fasciculatus (Pennell) McMinn].
From mid spring to early summer, when these relatively small shrubs or sub-shrubs are profusely adorned with their showy flowers, they represent one of most conspicuous features of the landscape in many areas of the Santa Lucia Mountains of Monterey County and northwestern San Luis Obispo County. These evergreen bushes have spreading branches that tend to form generally rounded crowns ranging from about 4 to 10 dm. (16-40") tall, and the leaves, which are opposite, glandular (sticky), mostly linear-oblong and with revolute margins, are about 2 to 6 cm. long. Smaller leaves are usually fasciculated (clustered) in the axils (upper bases) of the major leaves. The flowers are also axillary in leafy racemes that terminate the branches, and the showy corollas, which are about 4 to 6 cm. long, range from pale-orange to peach or saffron. The bilabiate (two-lipped) corollas are divided into two upper and three lower primary lobes, each of which is deeply notched into two secondary lobes. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule.

The problematic taxonomic status of this botanical entity, which represents one of the most morphologically distinctive and ornamentally spectacular members of the Mimulus aurantiacus complex, will be addressed in a future installment of my series on the unique and noteworthy plants of the Santa Lucia Mountains.


Identification and botanical description by David Rogers © 1999

Photos by Boon Hughey ©1998


|| DCQ || FeedBack ||