Mimulus guttatus or Erythranthe guttata
|Seep-Spring Monkeyflower: photo by Cliff Hutson|
My field guides place it in the Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family). Newer references, such as Jepson eFlora, have it in the Phrymaceae (Lopseed family). The name monkeyflower comes from the supposition that the flowers look like little faces when viewed from the front. I have never seen a monkey’s face. However, based on my experiences leading wildflower walks, those participants under nine years of age seem to see it quite readily.
These are not just plants lovely to look at, monkeyflower leaves were eaten as a salad. The stems and roots were brewed as a tea and used to treat diarrhea and kidney problems.
|Common Monkeyflower: photo by Cliff Hutson|