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Zones 8, 9, 14-24
Full Sun
Minimal Water

Mimulus aurantiacus ‘Georgia Red’

Monkey flower

Deciduous, Perennials, Flowers


This is a wide-ranging group of plants with different needs. All have funnel-shaped, two-lipped flowers said to resemble a grinning monkey face—hence the common name.

Mimulus aurantiacus longiflorus
Mimulus aurantiacus longiflorus

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Mimulus aurantiacus

Native to southern Oregon, California, and Baja California. Grows to 4 1/2 ft. tall and wide, with narrow, 1 1/2-in.-long, sticky dark green leaves. Buff-toned orange, 1 3/4-in. flowers bloom over a long spring-and-summer season. All subspecies thrive in full sun or partial shade, with little water.

More important than the subspecies themselves are the showy hybrids derived from them (often called Verity hybrids, after their originator). These plants grow 1–4 ft. tall and wide, with narrow, glossy dark green leaves that are sometimes sticky. Flowers are 1–3 in. long, in colors ranging from white and cream to yellow, orange, copper, salmon, red, and maroon.

Plant in full sun or light shade; give good drainage. Prune in spring before growth starts. Pruned again after first flowering, they often rebloom in fall—and, if given moderate water with good drainage, they may flower repeatedly throughout the year. Because plants are not long-lived, take cuttings of your favorites; they root easily in moist sand.

Mimulus aurantiacus ‘Georgia Red’ (photo courtesy of Sunset Western Garden Collection)
Mimulus aurantiacus ‘Georgia Red’ (photo courtesy of Sunset Western Garden Collection)

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‘Georgia Red’

Shrubby, mounding growth is covered with flowers that are larger than other mimulus. It blooms steadily throughout the season, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Drought tolerant once established. Great low-maintenance plant for containers and beds. From the Sunset Western Garden Collection.

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