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Coppery Monkeyflower

Mimulus x burnetii

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Phrymaceae (Monkeyflower)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, marshes, riverbanks, riversides, waterside, wetland.

Red, 5 petals
Yellow funnel-shaped flowers, very heavily blotched red. The blotches are more dominant than the yellow itself. The flowers measure up to 4cm across.
The fruit is a 2-parted capsule.
A deciduous perennial with erect but spreading stems. The dark green leaves are elliptical and irregularly toothed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Mimulus x burnetii is a hybrid plant in the genus Mimulus, which is a cross between Mimulus luteus and Mimulus cardinalis. It is an herbaceous perennial plant that is known for its showy, brightly colored flowers. The flowers are usually a bright orange-red color and they typically have a dark red or purple spot at the base of the upper petal. The leaves are typically dark green and lance-shaped.

Mimulus x burnetii is a relatively rare hybrid and it's not as commonly found as other hybrids of Mimulus such as Mimulus x robertsii. It is a hardy plant and it can grow well in moist, well-drained soils and in full sun or light shade. It is also a good plant for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to gardens. Because of its rarity, it may not be easy to find in nurseries or as a wildflower, but it makes a great addition to any garden due to its vibrant and colorful flowers.


Coppery monkeyflower, also known by its scientific name Mimulus x burnetii, is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to the western United States. It is a hybrid of two other species of monkeyflowers, Mimulus guttatus and Mimulus luteus, and it is a popular garden plant due to its stunning orange-red flowers and easy-to-care-for nature.

Coppery monkeyflower typically grows to be about 1 to 2 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. It has dark green leaves that are arranged opposite each other on the stem, and it produces beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers that can range in color from bright orange to deep red. The flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and can last for several weeks, providing a splash of color to any garden or landscape.

One of the reasons that coppery monkeyflower is so popular with gardeners is that it is very easy to grow. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-draining soil. It is also relatively drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for areas that receive little rainfall. Coppery monkeyflower is also a great choice for attracting hummingbirds and other pollinators to the garden, as they are attracted to the bright, showy flowers.

In addition to its ornamental value, coppery monkeyflower also has some medicinal uses. Native American tribes have long used various species of monkeyflower to treat a variety of ailments, including colds, coughs, and sore throats. Recent scientific studies have also shown that extracts from certain species of monkeyflower, including Mimulus x burnetii, may have potential anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.

If you are looking for a beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering plant for your garden or landscape, coppery monkeyflower is definitely worth considering. Its stunning orange-red flowers, easy care requirements, and potential medicinal properties make it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Coppery monkeyflower is not only a beautiful and easy-to-care-for plant but also an interesting plant from an evolutionary perspective. As a hybrid of two distinct monkeyflower species, Mimulus x burnetii has a unique genetic makeup that combines the traits of both parent species.

Hybridization is a common occurrence in the plant kingdom and can sometimes result in new species with unique characteristics that allow them to survive in different environmental conditions. In the case of coppery monkeyflower, the hybridization likely occurred in the wild, where the two parent species grew in close proximity and cross-pollinated naturally.

In addition to its evolutionary significance, coppery monkeyflower has also been the subject of research in the field of ecology. Mimulus x burnetii is a common plant in riparian areas, which are areas adjacent to streams or other bodies of water. These areas are important habitats for a variety of plants and animals, and they are also critical for water quality and erosion control.

Studies have shown that coppery monkeyflower is able to thrive in these riparian areas due to its ability to tolerate variable water levels and soil moisture conditions. This makes it an important component of riparian ecosystems, where it helps to stabilize stream banks and prevent erosion.

Another interesting aspect of coppery monkeyflower is its cultural significance. The plant has been used by indigenous people for centuries for various purposes. For example, the Pomo tribe in California used a decoction of the plant to treat burns and other skin ailments. The plant was also used by the Kawaiisu people in the Tehachapi Mountains of California as a medicinal herb.

In addition to its medicinal uses, coppery monkeyflower has also been used in traditional ceremonies and as a source of food. The Karuk tribe in northern California used the plant in a puberty ceremony for young girls. The flowers were placed in a girl's hair, and the plant was believed to confer good luck and fertility.

The plant was also used as a food source by indigenous people. The flowers and leaves were sometimes eaten raw, or they were cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The seeds were also ground into a meal and used as a source of protein.

Today, coppery monkeyflower is still used in some traditional ceremonies and as a medicinal herb by indigenous people. It is a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of the western United States and the important role that plants have played in the lives of indigenous people for thousands of years.

In addition to its traditional medicinal uses, coppery monkeyflower is also being studied for its potential therapeutic applications in modern medicine. Researchers have discovered that certain compounds found in the plant have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties.

One such compound is myricetin, a flavonoid that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies. Another compound, betulinic acid, has been shown to have anti-cancer activity in cell culture and animal studies.

These findings suggest that coppery monkeyflower may have potential as a natural treatment for various inflammatory and cancerous conditions. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the safety and efficacy of using coppery monkeyflower for medicinal purposes.

Aside from its medicinal and ecological significance, coppery monkeyflower also has potential as a garden plant for sustainable landscaping. The plant's ability to tolerate variable water levels and soil moisture makes it a great choice for xeriscaping, which involves using drought-tolerant plants to conserve water in landscaping.

Furthermore, the plant's ability to attract hummingbirds and other pollinators makes it a great addition to any garden or landscape, helping to promote biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Overall, coppery monkeyflower is a plant with a rich history and a promising future. Its beauty, ease of care, cultural significance, medicinal potential, and ecological value make it a plant that is worth exploring and incorporating into our lives in various ways.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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