From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mimulus ringens
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Phrymaceae
Genus: Mimulus

Presently some 150, but see text


Erythranthe, and see text

Mimulus /ˈmɪmjuːləs/,[1] also known as monkeyflowers,[2] is a plant genus in the family Phrymaceae, which was traditionally placed in family Scrophulariaceae. The genus now contains only seven species, two native to eastern North America and the other five native to Asia, Australia, Africa, or Madagascar.[3] In the past, about 150 species were placed in this genus, most of which have since been assigned to other genera, the majority to genus Erythranthe.

Mimulus species prefer wet or moist areas and are not drought resistant.[4] Several are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. The cultivar 'Highland Red' has received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[5]


Mimulus is based on the Latin word mimus ('mimic', especially in the context of acting). This may have to do with the flowers seeming to have grinning faces resembling those of monkeys.[6]


The color patterns of Mimulus flowers are determined by an inverted repeat in the YELLOW UPPER (YUP) genetic locus.[7] YUP causes production of phase-patterned siRNAs that regulate color carotenoids. YUP itself evolved from a fragment of a cytochrome protein unrelated to flower coloration.


Before the 2012 restructuring, two large groups of species had long been recognized in the genus Mimulus as it was traditionally defined, with the largest group of species in western North America, and a second group with center of diversity in Australia. In the 2012 restructuring of Mimulus by Barker, et al., based largely upon DNA evidence, seven species were left in Mimulus, 111 placed into Erythranthe (species with axile placentation and long pedicels), 46 placed into Diplacus (species with parietal placentation and sessile flowers), two placed in Uvedalia, and one each placed in Elacholoma, Mimetanthe, and Thyridia.[3][8][9]

Removal of Mimulus from family Scrophulariaceae has been supported by studies of chloroplast DNA first published in the mid-1990s.[10] Multiple studies of chloroplast DNA and two regions of nuclear rDNA[11] suggest that the genera Phryma, Berendtiella, Hemichaena, Leucocarpus, Microcarpeae, Peplidium, Glossostigma, and Elacholoma are all derived from within Mimulus and would need to be rearranged.[12]

Species of Mimulus sensu stricto[edit]

The species remaining in Mimulus are:[3]


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book. Maumelle: Leisure Arts. 1995. pp. 606–607. ISBN 978-0376038517.
  2. ^ "Mimulus - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics". www.sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  3. ^ a b c Barker, W. L. (Bill); Nesom, Guy; Beardsley, Paul M.; Fraga, Naomi S. (2012). "A Taxonomic Conspectus of Phrymaceae: A Narrowed Circumscription for Mimulus, New and Resurrected Genera, and New Names and Combinations" (PDF). Phytoneuron. 39: 1–60. ISSN 2153-733X.
  4. ^ "California Monkey flowers". Las Pilitas Nursery. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Mimulus 'Highland Red'". RHS. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  6. ^ Taylor, Ronald J. (1994) [1992]. Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary (rev. ed.). Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Pub. Co. p. 48. ISBN 0-87842-280-3. OCLC 25708726.
  7. ^ Liang, Mei; Chen, Wenjie; LaFountain, Amy M.; Liu, Yuanlong; Peng, Foen; Xia, Rui; Bradshaw, H. D.; Yuan, Yao-Wu (2023-02-10). "Taxon-specific, phased siRNAs underlie a speciation locus in monkeyflowers". Science. 379 (6632): 576–582. doi:10.1126/science.adf1323. ISSN 0036-8075. PMC 10601778. PMID 36758083. S2CID 256697937.
  8. ^ Cooley, Arielle M.; Willis, John H. (2009). "Genetic divergence causes parallel evolution of flower color in Chilean Mimulus". New Phytologist. 183 (3): 729–739. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02858.x. PMID 19453433.
  9. ^ Vallejo-Marín, Mario; Buggs, Richard J.; Cooley, Arielle M.; Puzey, Joshua R. (2015). "Speciation by genome duplication: Repeated origins and genomic composition of the recently formed allopolyploid species Mimulus peregrinus". Evolution. 69 (6): 1487–1500. doi:10.1111/evo.12678. PMC 5033005. PMID 25929999.
  10. ^ Beardsley, P. M.; Yen, Alan; Olmstead, R. G. (2003). "AFLP Phylogeny of Mimulus Section Erythranthe and the Evolution of Hummingbird Pollination". Evolution. 57 (6): 1397–1410. doi:10.1554/02-086. JSTOR 3448862. PMID 12894947. S2CID 198154155.
  11. ^ Beardsley, P. M.; Olmstead, R. G. (2002). "Redefining Phrymaceae: the placement of Mimulus, tribe Mimuleae, and Phryma". American Journal of Botany. 89 (7): 1093–1102. doi:10.3732/ajb.89.7.1093. JSTOR 4122195. PMID 21665709.
  12. ^ Beardsley, P. M.; Schoenig, Steve E.; Whittall, Justen B.; Olmstead, Richard G. (2004). "Patterns of Evolution in Western North American Mimulus (Phrymaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 91 (3): 474–4890. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.3.474. JSTOR 4123743. PMID 21653403.

External links[edit]