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Lewis' Monkeyflower
Mimulus lewisii
About Lewis' Monkeyflower (Mimulus lewisii) Nurseries Show All Photos Mimulus lewisii (Lewis' Monkeyflower or Great Purple Monkeyflower) is a perennial herb in the Phrymaceae (Lopseed) family. It is native to western North America from Alaska to California to Colorado, where it grows in moist habitat such as streambanks at elevations between 5,000 and 10,000 ft. In California it is found primarily in the Sierras. It is named in honor of Meriwether Lewis. This is a mountain species that requires higher elevations, snow in winter, cool temperatures in summer, and plenty of water. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. This would be a nice plant if your garden is in Mammoth Lakes or Truckee.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.8 - 2.6 ft (0.24 - 0.8 m)

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Pink, Purple, Red

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Streambanks, seeps at mid-to-high elevations in the Sierras


Elevation ?
483' - 10080'

Annual Precip. ?
14.0" - 108.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 3.82"

Coldest Month ?
21.9° F - 50.5° F

Hottest Month ?
45.6° F - 77.3° F

Humidity ?
0.70 vpd - 25.16 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers rich, moist, loamy soil

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
1*, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

Wildlife Attracted

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

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

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

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Great Purple Monkeyflower, Lewis' 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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