Erythranthe guttata
Mimulus guttatus 5639.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Phrymaceae
Genus: Erythranthe
E. guttata
Binomial name
Erythranthe guttata
(Fisch. DC.) G.L.Nesom
  • Mimulus guttatus Fisch. ex DC.
  • Mimulus langsdorffii var. guttatus (Fisch. ex DC.) Jeps.

Erythranthe guttata, with the common names seep monkeyflower and common yellow monkeyflower, is a yellow bee-pollinated annual or perennial plant. It was formerly known as Mimulus guttatus.[1][2][3][4][5]

Erythranthe guttata is a model organism for biological studies, and in that context is still referred to as Mimulus guttatus.[6] There may be as many as 1000 scientific papers focused on this species. The genome is (as of 2012) being studied in depth.[7]


The lower lip may have one large to many small red to reddish brown spots. The opening to the flower is hairy.

A highly variable plant, taking many forms, E. guttata is a species complex in that there is room to treat some of its forms as different species by some definitions.[8]

The plant ranges from 10 to 80 centimetres (4 to 31+12 in) tall with disproportionately large, 2 to 4 cm long, tubular flowers. The perennial form spreads with stolons or rhizomes. The stem may be erect or recumbent. In the latter form, roots may develop at leaf nodes. Sometimes dwarfed, it may be hairless or have some hairs.

Leaves are opposite, round to oval, usually coarsely and irregularly toothed or lobed. The bright yellow flowers are born on a raceme, most often with five or more flowers.

The calyx has five lobes that are much shorter than the flower. Each flower has bilateral symmetry and has two lips. The upper lip usually has two lobes; the lower, three. The lower lip may have one large to many small red to reddish brown spots (hence the name guttata, which is Latin for 'spotted').[9] The opening to the flower is hairy.[2][10][11][12][13][14]

Erythranthe guttata is pollinated by bees, such as Bombus species. Inbreeding reduces flower quantity and size and pollen quality and quantity. E. guttata also displays a high degree of self-pollination.[15][16]Erythranthe nasuta (Mimulus nasutus) evolved from E. guttata in central California between 200,000 and 500,000 years ago and since then has become primarily a self-pollinator. Other differences have occurred since then, such as genetic code variations and variations in plant morphology.[17][18]E. guttata prefers a wetter habitat than E. nasuta.[19]


A herbaceous wildflower, Erythranthe guttata grows along the banks of streams and seeps throughout much of western North America from sea level to 12,000 feet (3,700 m).[20][21] Both annual and perennial forms occur throughout the species' range. It blooms during spring at low elevations, during summer at high elevations.[20]

It is found in a wide range of habitats including the splash zone of the Pacific Ocean, the chaparral of California, Western U.S. deserts, the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, alpine meadows, serpentine barrens, and even on the toxic tailings of copper mines. It is also very common in New Zealand near water bodies.[22]

It is sometimes aquatic, its herbage floating in small bodies of water.


Erythranthe guttata is cultivated in the specialty horticulture trade and available as an ornamental plant for: traditional gardens; natural landscape, native plant, and habitat gardens.


The leaves are edible, both raw and cooked.[23][24] Leaves are sometimes added to salads as a lettuce substitute, they have a slight bitter flavour.[25]


  1. ^ a b Barker, W.R.; Nesom, G.L.; Beardsley, P.M.; Fraga, N.S. (2012), "A taxonomic conspectus of Phrymaceae: A narrowed circumscriptions for Mimulus, new and resurrected genera, and new names and combinations" (PDF), Phytoneuron, 2012–39: 1–60
  2. ^ a b Giblin, David, ed. (2015). "Erythranthe guttata". WTU Herbarium Image Collection. Burke Museum, University of Washington. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  3. ^ Beardsley, P. M.; Yen, Alan; Olmstead, R. G. (2003). "AFLP Phylogeny of Mimulus Section Erythranthe and the Evolution of Hummingbird Pollination". Evolution. 57 (6): 1397–1410. doi:10.1554/02-086. JSTOR 3448862. PMID 12894947. S2CID 198154155.
  4. ^ Beardsley, P. M.; Olmstead, R. G. (2002). "Redefining Phrymaceae: the placement of Mimulus, tribe Mimuleae, and Phryma". American Journal of Botany. 89 (7): 1093–1102. doi:10.3732/ajb.89.7.1093. JSTOR 4122195. PMID 21665709.
  5. ^ Beardsley, P. M.; Schoenig, Steve E.; Whittall, Justen B.; Olmstead, Richard G. (2004). "Patterns of Evolution in Western North American Mimulus (Phrymaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 91 (3): 474–4890. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.3.474. JSTOR 4123743. PMID 21653403. S2CID 11035527.
  6. ^ Lowry, David B.; Sobel, James M.; Angert, Amy L.; Ashman, Tia‐Lynn; Baker, Robert L.; Blackman, Benjamin K.; Brandvain, Yaniv; Byers, Kelsey J.R.P.; Cooley, Arielle M.; Coughlan, Jennifer M.; Dudash, Michele R. (2019-11-15). "The case for the continued use of the genus name Mimulus for all monkeyflowers". Taxon. 68 (4): 617–623. doi:10.1002/tax.12122. ISSN 0040-0262.
  7. ^ "Welcome to". Mimulus Evolution. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  8. ^ Fishman, Lila; Kelly, Alan J.; Morgan, Emily; Willis, John H. (2001). "A Genetic Map in the Mimulus guttatus Species Complex Reveals Transmission Ratio Distortion due to Heterospecific Interactions". Genetics. 159 (4): 1701–1716. doi:10.1093/genetics/159.4.1701. PMC 1461909. PMID 11779808.
  9. ^ Taylor, Ronald J. (1994) [1992]. Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary (rev. ed.). Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Pub. Co. p. 48. ISBN 0-87842-280-3. OCLC 25708726.
  10. ^ Klinkenberg, Brian, ed. (2014). "Mimulus guttatus". E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  11. ^ "Mimulus guttatus". Jepson eFlora: Taxon page. Jepson Herbarium; University of California, Berkeley. 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  12. ^ "Mimulus guttatus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  13. ^ Pojar, Jim; Andy MacKinnon (2004). Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-55105-530-5.
  14. ^ Turner, Mark; Phyllis Gustafson (2006). Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. Timber Press. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-88192-745-0.
  15. ^ Carr, David E.; Roulston, T'ai H.; Hart, Haley (2014). "Inbreeding in Mimulus guttatus Reduces Visitation by Bumble Bee Pollinators". PLOS ONE. 9 (7): e101463. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...9j1463C. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101463. PMC 4103763. PMID 25036035.
  16. ^ Ritland, Kermit (1989). "Correlated Matings in the Partial Selfer Mimulus guttatus". Evolution. 43 (4): 848–859. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.1989.tb05182.x. JSTOR 2409312. PMID 28564194. S2CID 6227723.
  17. ^ Brandvain, Yaniv; Kenney, Amanda M.; Flagel, Lex; Coop, Graham; Sweigert, Andrea L. (2014). "Speciation and Introgression between Mimulus nasutus and Mimulus guttatus". PLOS Genetics. 10 (6): e1004410. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004410. PMC 4072524. PMID 24967630.
  18. ^ Dole, Jefferey A. (1992). "Reproductive Assurance Mechanisms in Three Taxa of the Mimulus guttatus Complex (Scrophulariaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 79 (6): 650–659. doi:10.1002/j.1537-2197.1992.tb14607.x. JSTOR 2444881.
  19. ^ Kiang, Y. T.; Hamrick, J. L. (1978). "Reproductive Isolation in the Mimulus guttatus M. nasutus Complex". The American Midland Naturalist. 100 (2): 269–276. doi:10.2307/2424826. JSTOR 2424826.
  20. ^ a b Sullivan, Steven. K. (2015). "Mimulus guttatus". Wildflower Search. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  21. ^ "Mimulus guttatus". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
  22. ^ "Erythranthe guttata". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  23. ^ Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing 1976
  24. ^ Arnberger. L. P. Flowers of the Southwest Mountains. Southwestern Monuments Ass. 1968
  25. ^ Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications 1990 ISBN 0-9628087-0-9

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