Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This perennial plant is 1-3' tall, branching occasionally to frequently. The light green stems are glabrous and bluntly 4-angled, but they are not conspicuously winged. The opposite leaves are up to 4" long and 1" across; they are light to medium green, lanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate in shape, glabrous, and serrated to sparingly serrated along their margins. The leaves are sessile or they clasp the stems; petioles are absent. Leaf bases are round to slightly cordate, while their tips are slender and pointed. Individual flowers develop from the leaf axils of the middle to upper stems. These flowers are about 1" long, and they have two-lipped corollas that are usually pale blue-violet (less often pink or white). The upper lip of the corolla has 2 erect lobes, while the lower lip has 3 rounded lobes. The inner surface of the lower lip often has 2 small ridges. The throat of the corolla has a patch of yellow and it is barely open because of an abundance of fuzzy hairs. The tubular calyx is light green with 5 linear-lanceolate teeth; it also has 5 longitudinal ridges along its sides. The pedicels of the flowers are at least ½" in length; they are slender, glabrous, and terete. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall, lasting about 1–1½ months. There is no floral scent. Each flower is replaced by a rounded seed capsule that contains numerous tiny seeds with reticulated outer surfaces. These seeds are dispersed by wind or water. The root system is rhizomatous. Although this plant can spread vegetatively, it isn't a strong colonizer. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Monkey Flower is widely distributed throughout most of Illinois (see Distribution Map). This plant is fairly common in the central and northern areas of the state, but it is less common in the south. Habitats include floodplain and bottomland forests (particularly in partially sunny areas), swamps, seeps, muddy borders of small streams or ponds, drainage ditches, prairie swales, and wet meadows. It typically occurs in areas that are prone to occasional flooding or standing water. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Source: NatureServe

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Monkey Flower is widely distributed throughout most of Illinois (see Distribution Map). This plant is fairly common in the central and northern areas of the state, but it is less common in the south. Habitats include floodplain and bottomland forests (particularly in partially sunny areas), swamps, seeps, muddy borders of small streams or ponds, drainage ditches, prairie swales, and wet meadows. It typically occurs in areas that are prone to occasional flooding or standing water. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Monkey Flower in Illinois

Mimulus ringens (Monkey Flower)
(bees, butterflies, and skippers suck nectar, Syrphid flies probably feed on pollen, while the wasp either sucks nectar or explores the flowers; the larger long-tongued bees are effective pollinators, while the remaining insects are probably non-pollinating; observations are from Robertson, Mitchell, and Conger)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fervida sn fq (Mch), Bombus griseocallis sn (Mch), Bombus impatiens sn (Mch), Bombus pensylvanica sn (Rb, Cng), Bombus vagans sn (Rb); Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn np (Cng); Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica sn (Cng); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile latimanus sn (Cng)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn np (Cng), Agapostemon splendens sn np (Cng)

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Microbembex monodonta sn/exp np (Cng)

Flies
Syrphidae: Allograpta obliqua fp np (Cng), Eupeodes americanus fp np (Cng), Sphaerophoria contiqua fp np (Cng), Syritta pipiens fp np (Cng)

Butterflies
Papilionidae: Battus philenor sn np (Cng)

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Epargyreus clarus sn np (Cng)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mimulus ringens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Mimulus ringens

Mimulus ringens is a species of monkeyflower known by the common names Allegheny monkeyflower and square-stemmed monkeyflower.

It is native to eastern and central North America, and there are occurrences in the western United States, some of which may represent introductions. It grows in a wide variety of wet habitat types.

This is rhizomatous perennial growing 20 centimeters to well over a meter tall, its 4-angled stem usually erect. The oppositely arranged leaves are lance-shaped to oblong, up to 8 centimeters long, and sometimes joined or nearly so clasping the stem. The herbage is hairless. The flower 2 to 3 centimeters long, its tubular base encapsulated in a ribbed calyx of sepals with pointed lobes. The flower is lavender in color and divided into an upper lip and a larger, swollen lower lip.

One variety of this plant, var. colophilus, is rare, ecologically restricted, and vulnerable. It is known from Quebec, it has been reported in Vermont, and there are a few occurrences in Maine, where it grows only in freshwater sections of tidal estuaries.[1] This plant variety faces several threats, but its current status is not known due to a lack of data.[1]

References[edit]

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