Mimulus ringens var. colpophilus

Common Names:
Allegheny monkey-flower, estuarine monkey-flower, square-stemmed monkey-flower
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
New England Wild Flower Society

The conservation of Mimulus ringens var. colpophilus is fully sponsored.
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth contributed to this Plant Profile.


Mimulus ringens var. colpophilus is a variety of monkeyflower with a highly restricted distribution from Maine to Quebec. It grows only in freshwater wetlands, usually tidal areas with fluctuating water levels. As a possible adaptation to its specialized habitat, the plant has a compact architecture with short internodes (distances between leaf pairs along the stem) and small leaves. It is known only from twelve localities in the U. S. and its status in Quebec is largely unknown. Threats to the long-term survival of this species include destruction of its wetland habitat, sea-level rise leading to an increase in salinity, and competition from invasive wetland species.

Research and Management Summary:
Much more ecological and genetic work is needed on this taxon to determine its distribution, its distinctiveness as a taxon, its taxonomic relationship to other varieties within the Mimulus ringens complex, and its rarity and conservation needs.

Plant Description:
Mimulus ringens var. colpophilus is a perennial, herbaceous plant with a square stem up to 1.3 m tall that arises from a rhizome. Leaves 2.5 to 5.0 cm long are arrayed oppositely on the stem at intervals of 1.5 to 2.5 cm. The showy, irregular, lavender-purple flowers vaguely resemble the flat, comical face of a monkey. In the variety colpophilus, the lobes of the calyx are only 1.5 to 2.5 mm long (half as long as variety ringens), and the flowers are borne on short pedicels only 1 to 1.7 cm long.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research