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Seep Monkey Flower
Erythranthe guttata
About Seep Monkey Flower (Erythranthe guttata) Nurseries Show All Photos Seep Monkey Flower is a yellow bee-pollinated wildflower that grows along the banks of streams and seeps in western North America and throughout most of California. It is also well liked by hummingbirds. This is a highly variable plant, taking many forms. It is a species complex in that there is room to treat some of its forms as different species by some definitions. Both annual and perennial forms occur throughout the species' range. It is found in a wide range of habitats including the splash zone of the Pacific Ocean, the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, alpine meadows, serpentine barrens, and even on the toxic tailings of copper mines. It is sometimes aquatic, its herbage floating in small bodies of water. It has been a model organism for studies of evolution and ecology. There may be as many as 1000 scientific papers focused on this species. The scientific name of this plant was recently changed from Mimulus guttatus to Erythranthe guttata.

In gardens or ponds, Seep Monkey Flower is probably best treated as a fast growing annual that will re-seed itself. It grows in moist soils and in up 2 feet of water, and the more water it gets, the faster it tends to grow.

Seep Monkey Flower is an excellent pond plant. Its spreading root systems make it one of the best plants for filtering water in aquatic gardens, and its abundant yellow snapdragon-shaped flowers add spectacular color to a pond in winter and spring. Note that because it aggressively spreads and copiously self seeds, it may need to be periodically pulled or cut back to prevent it from crowding out other pond marginals.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb, Perennial herb

Max. Height
2 - 5 ft (0.6 - 1.5 m)

Max. Width
0.6 ft (0.2 m)



Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Wet places, terrestrial, emergent or floating in mats

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-253' - 10662'

Annual Precip. ?
4.4" - 126.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 3.94"

Coldest Month ?
19.3° F - 61.4° F

Hottest Month ?
44.6° F - 88.8° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 40.42 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils as long as adequate drainage is provided

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0

Slow, Standing

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -15° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 11, 12, 14*, 15, 16, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24

Companion Plants
Use with other plants that need moist soil such as Scarlet Monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis), Stream Orchid (Epipactis gigantea), Hedge Nettle (Stachys bullata), and various Carex and Juncus species

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1/week, Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Deadhead for a better appearance and to prolong blooming, or leave old flowers in place to encourage re-seeding.

Propagation ?
Usually self-sows.  For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Bogs and Ponds, Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Mimulus guttatus,Mimulus microphyllus,Mimulus glabratus ssp. utahensis,Mimulus whipplei

Common Names
Common Large Monkeyflower, Common Monkeyflower, Common Yellow Monkeyflower, Seep Monkey-flower, Seep Monkeyflower, Yellow Monkey Flower

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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