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David M. Thompson

Annual to shrub. Stem: ×-section generally round. Leaf: opposite, simple, entire or toothed; stipules 0. Inflorescence: spike, raceme, or panicle, bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx radial or ± bilateral, tube long, generally ribbed, lobes 5; corolla generally bilateral, generally 2-lipped, upper [1]2-lobed, lower 3-lobed; stamens 4 in 2 pairs, epipetalous, included or exserted; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers 1–2, placentas parietal or axile, style 1, stigma lobes 2, flat, folding together when touched. Fruit: generally capsule, generally ellipsoid, loculicidal [indehiscent, 1-seeded].
± 15 genera, 230 species: ± worldwide, many habitats; some cultivated as ornamental (e.g., Mimulus, Mazus). Formerly included in Scrophulariaceae. [Beardsley & Olmstead 2002 Amer J Bot 89:1093–1102] Family description by David J. Keil. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Glabrous to hairy. Stem: generally erect. Leaf: opposite, generally ± sessile, generally toothed or entire, generally green or ± red. Inflorescence: raceme, bracted, or flowers generally 2 per axil. Flower: occasionally cleistogamous; calyx generally green, lobes 5, generally << tube, generally unequal; corolla generally deciduous, white to red, maroon, purple, gold, or yellow, lower lip base occasionally swollen, ± closing mouth, tube-throat floor generally with 2 longitudinal folds; anther sacs spreading; placentas 2, axile or parietal; stigma lobes generally flat, generally included. Fruit: generally ovoid to fusiform, generally upcurved if elongate, generally ± fragile, loculicidal near tip (hard, indehiscent), chambers 1–2. Seed: many, generally < 1 mm, ovoid, ± yellow to dark brown.
± 100 species: North America, Chile, eastern Asia, southern Africa, New Zealand, Australia. (Latin: little mime or comic actor, from face-like corolla of some species) [Thompson 2005 Syst Bot Monogr 75:1–213] Limb width measured between most distant points across corolla face.

Key to Mimulus

M. nanus Hook. & Arn.
Annual 1–15 cm, ± puberulent to hairy. Leaf: 3–30 mm, oblanceolate to linear; lower surface ± purple; tip acute to rounded. Flower: pedicel 0.5–7 mm; calyx lobes ± unequal, acute to ± long-tapered, mouth in fruit ± oblique; corolla persistent, throat floor generally with 2 yellow folds surrounded by and generally dotted deeper magenta; stigma ± exserted; placentas parietal. Fruit: 3.5–12 mm.
2n=16. Intermediates with Mimulus layneae occur in Northwestern California and southern Sierra Nevada. [Online Interchange]

M. nanus var. mephiticus (Greene) D.M. Thomps.
Stem: lowest internodes ± longer than others, primary axis generally dominant, tufted at highest elevations. Leaf: dull olive-green, at least margins hairy. Inflorescence: fruit nodes ± evenly spaced. Flower: calyx 5–11 mm, at least veins hairy, lobes 1–3 mm; corolla magenta, dark red-purple, or yellow, tube-throat 11–19 mm, generally puberulent externally, limb 9–17 mm wide. Fruit: generally 6–12 mm.
Openings in sagebrush or on disturbed slopes, generally around granite; 1520–3445 m. High Sierra Nevada, s Modoc Plateau, East of Sierra Nevada; Nevada. [Mimulus mephiticus Greene; Mimulus angustifolius (Greene) A.L. Grant; Mimulus coccineus Congdon; Mimulus densus A.L. Grant; Mimulus reifschneiderae Edwin; Mimulus stamineus A.L. Grant; Mimulus washoensis Edwin; Mimulus wolfii Eastw.; Eunanus angustifolius Greene; Mimulus coccineus Congdon var. wolfii (Eastw.) D.W. Taylor] May–Aug [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Mimulus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015

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click for enlargement Mimulus nanus var. mephiticus
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© 2012 Steven Perry

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Mimulus nanus var. mephiticus Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.