Jun. 7, 2018

blue monkey-flower, Mimulus ringens

Monkey-flowers are another of the myriad snapdragon wanna bes. It turns out that pollination syndrome is a really good strategy. And so is bumbling. A huge number of species, in all branches of the flower kingdom, have figured out that forcing the pollinators to work hard to get their dinner insures contact with and transfer of pollen. Fortunately for us, they first have to bring the workers to the job. So the result is a lot of pretty blooms. But do these really look like monkeys? Some say that happens if you squeeze the sides, forcing the 'mouth' open. Still hard to see. Blue monkey flower grows in damp ground, most often in partial shade in every state except AL, AZ, FL, HI, NM, NV, UT, and WY, and in AB, MB, NB, NS, ON, PC, QC, and SK(T). Lenawee Co MI, 8/27/10.