Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mimulus Lewisii

Mimulus lewisii at Paradise, Mt. Raninier

Another Mimulus lewisii at Paradise

Mimulus lewisii at Crater Lake, Oregon

Mimulus lewisii seedling in my garden

     Many years ago, when I was first starting my old garden on Bainbridge Island, I came across some plants of Mimulus lewisii at Wells Medina Nursery, and I was at that stage of gardening when I bought all unusual plants I could find.  I was warned by the nursery staff that these plants, although native to the Pacific Northwest, were tricky to grow in a garden setting.  I bought them anyway, planted them in a fairly wet area of my old garden (much of it was very wet), and that was the last I saw of them.  I don't really remember what happened to them, but in any event, they did not thrive.  So I had thought, until very recently, that these were difficult plants in a garden setting.
     Recently, as you probably realize by now, I have become interested in native plants, and Mimulus lewisii is one of our most showy native plants.  So I have given it another go, and I am here to report on that effort.  First, I should preface this by saying that a couple of years ago I purchased three plants of a Mimulus lewisii hybrid with Mimulus cardinalis from Annie's Annuals, and I had planted them in one of the moistest spots in my new garden.  They loved it there.  In the second year after planting they bloomed almost all summer, although I was disappointed in the color of the blossom--it was a very pastel pink, not the darker pink of Mimulus lewisii, although the flower shape was much the same.  Then, in the third year I could see that I was going to have a problem with this hybrid.  Not only was it spreading aggressively from the roots, but it was also freely seeeding itself about the garden.  So I bit the bullet and took all of this hybrid out of the garden.  I still see seedlings of it popping up in its old location, though. 
     Last year I came across Mimulus lewisii at Woodbrook Native Plant Nursery in Gig Harbor, Washington, and so I bought a plant and planted it in my new garden.  This was a plant in a four inch pot, and not very impressive in its container.  I also happened upon more of these when I was visiting Wild Ginger Farm in Oregon, and so bought three more, which I also planted in my new garden.  By the way, if you ever get the chance to visit Wild Ginger Farm, it is a great place, and I highly recommend it. 
     All of these plants did well after being planted, even though they weren't planted in particularly wet spots, although they also weren't planted in the driest areas of my garden, either.  As they bloomed I noticed that the Wild Ginger Farms plants were a lighter pink, more like the hybrid, than the plant from Woodbrook Native Plant Nursery.   After much googling, I found that the flower color of Mimulus lewisii can vary from light pink to dark pink, depending on its area of origin.  So if you want a dark pink flower on your Mimulus lewisii, make sure it is a form which has dark pink flowers. 
     I eventually took out all the light pink plants, leaving only the darker pink one.  That one has done well and I see lots of little seedling plants of it around the mother plant.  I have also found seedlings from last year which are now mature and flowering in the garden.  The last picture above is of one of those seedlings.  So I intend to dig up some of those seedlings and try them in different parts of the garden, particularly on the very steep slope behind my house.
     As you can see from the pictures above, Mimulus lewisii is a common sight at high elevations in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.  It tends to grow at stream edges or in very wet meadows, although I saw a lot of it at Artists Point near Mt. Baker recently growing in what looked liked gravelly areas at the side of roads, and on top of Artists Point itself.  Even so, those are probably fairly moist areas due to the fact that there was probably recent snow melt in the area.  In any event, I think it is safe to say that Mimulus lewisii is a moisture lover, and would probably not do well in a dry part of a garden.  It also seems to grow in fairly open conditions, so I doubt it would do well in the shade of trees.  Otherwise, it does not seem to be all that difficult a plant to grow in more lowland conditions.  I saw some of the most attractive collections of it at Paradise, Mt. Rainier where it was growing in damp meadows, along with Castilleja parviflora, lupines, and Bird's Foot Pedicularis.  I would love to get a meadow like that established in my own garden someday.


  1. I tried this once many years ago in this failed. Too dry! I think I'll have to leave these wet meadow alpines for others as my entire garden generally sits a little high and I'm reluctant to irrigate it too much in summer. But they are all very beautiful. I enjoy your posts immensely, am inspired by your enthusiasm and your attention to detail, because, unless we're growing what anyone can grow's all in the details!

    1. Thanks, Lance! I am fortunate that my new garden has a lot of different conditions available.

  2. Thank you for trying and sharing.

  3. Nice post! thank you for sharing this information, I am also want to introduce about something, If you want to see Funny Double Meaning Images then visit Our website I hope you like all pictures and don't forget to share with friends.
    Visit Site:-

  4. Thanks again for this awesome blog visit Ogen Infosystem for the best Website Designing and Development Services. Also get Digital Marketing Services like PPC, SEO, and Facebook Promotion.
    SEO Service in Delhi

  5. Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing blog. Visit mutualfundwala for Mutual Fund Advisor and Investment Advisor in Delhi.
    Mutual Fund Distributor

  6. Thank you so much for this amazing information sharing with us. Visit Appslure WebSolution for the best mobile app development company in Gurgaon
    Mobile app development company in gurgaon

  7. The above article is nice and interesting, thank you willing to share! Greetings success of admin jasa fotocopy 24 jam wish you deign to visit my website, thank you :)

  8. Designing is an art wheather it related to website designing or graphics designing. To give an attractive face to any paper, banners, website backgorund images will make it superb. we have extensive knowledge in graphics designings and we have good tean for it. We always used latest technologies and never compromised with the quality. Visit our website :-

    web design Gurgaon Website Development in Gurgaon Website Development Company in Gurgaon SEO Service Gurgaon Graphics Designs Services Gurgaon PPC Services Gurgaon

  9. I'm glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing. Landscape designer dubai

  10. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! This is my first comment here, so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog. Your blog provided us useful information. If you’re using HP printer error code 0xc19a0005 and you encounter the error code 0xc19a0005, the post will highlight the essentials to do for troubleshooting it.

  11. I feel happy about and learning more about this topic. keep sharing your information regularly for my future reference. This content creates new hope and inspiration within me. Thanks for sharing an blog like this. If you have any queries about Roku com link settings, on Roku, dial the toll-free number and talk to Roku activation professionals. You are sure to get the best help here.

  12. I admit, I have a tremendous sex drive. My boyfriend lives forty miles away. Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)