– Musk, Monkey-Flower
Hardy and Half-Hardy Perennial.
Flowers of several colours, May to October.
The best-known and most easily grown member of
this family is Mimulus moschatus, the common Musk-plant
of the cottage garden and the town-alley window-box
It has a creeping growth, with soft downy
leaves and inconspicuous yellow flowers, the whole
plant giving out the characteristic scent.
of the root-fibres may be planted at almost any
time in the year; they should be put in lengthways,
not vertically, and covered with about an inch
The position may be in deep shade, provided
that moisture is not shut out; dry, sunny exposures
must be avoided.
The plant increases rapidly in
positions which it approves, and may be forked
up an reconstituted – choosing the best
pieces of root for replanting – after two
or three years.
A poor soil should be well dug
and mended with some old manure – nothing
rank; if the bed becomes dry in hot weather it
must be copiously and consistently watered.
The Mimulus as grown in the flower garden is a
much enlarged and glorified Musk, with little
or nothing of the latter’s scent.
are not downy; the stems are much stouter and
taller; and the flowers, sometimes more than two
inches in width, are white or yellow, bordered,
spotted and sprinkled with crimson and brown.
The race called Tigrinus, ivory white with chestnut
markings, is very beautiful. Like the Musk, it
prefers a moist and half-shaded position; the
soil should be enriched with leaf-mould and well-decayed
The spotted varieties of Mimulus may be raised
from seed sown about the beginning of April in
boxes or pans on a moderate hot-bed or in a greenhouse
with a temperature between 50° and 70°.
The seedlings are small and delicate, and need
careful pricking out into boxes or beds of light
sandy soil; they must have plenty of moisture
at all stages of growth.
Harden them off in company
with the other tender annuals and plant out in
May or early June. Towards the end of the summer
the flowers will begin to “run small”;
and it is not much use leaving the plants in the
ground for another season.
There are two or three varieties which are tolerably
hardy in southern latitudes, at least, coming
in an intermediate place between the Musk and
the fancy Mimulus, both in vigour and in size
These are Mimulus cupreus, orange and crimson;
Mimulus cardinalis, bright red, about two feet high;
and Mimulus luteus, clear yellow, low-growing.
all prefer a moist and half-shaded position; the
last will flourish rampantly by the side of the
current of a brook or stream, and may be seen
growing wild in some parts of England almost as
See also : Mimulus