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Old 06-22-2011, 02:44 AM   #1
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Default Should it stay or should it go?

The 2 plants I purchased as stiff aster turned out to be something else, probably monkey flower.
Can anyone ID this plant ?
And do I keep it? or will it be aggressive? or a good addition?
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:39 AM   #2
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I think it's monkey flower (Mimulus ringens) too.

I wouldn't call it aggressive, but it may seed around a bit. It blooms much earlier than stiff aster (Aster linariifolius). The monkey flower might be a nice contrast to the many yellow flowers that bloom in early/mid summer.

In addition to bloom time, the ideal site conditions are different for these two plants. The monkey flower likes it on the moist side, and the stiff aster likes it on the dry side.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
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Great response, NEWisc. You included everthing I'd have said (and more), but phrased it better than I would've.

The only thing I'd add is that I've seen hummingbirds go to the monkey flower. (I guess I should add that to the hummingbird thread. Thanks for sparking a memory, guys.)
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:05 AM   #4
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Actually, I think this makes a great thread for anyone wondering if the found gold...or a dud.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Interesting requirement differences, which is why I was unsure of the ID.
I think the monkey flower is temporarily happy on the hot dryer site because we have had so much rain.
I guess if I want to keep it I'll have to move it.
It does add a little purple to the orange butterfly weed now.
NEWisc, what yellow flowers in particular are you thinking it will grow well with if I move it to a rain garden?

dapjwy, excellent idea to continue this thread for figuring out if a plant is" gold... or a dud"

Thanks for the humming bird information, that means I have yet another plant meant for the hummers that never come to my garden.
Oh well, I do have thousands of small flying insects, and bees and dragonflies.

The photo shows the monkey flowers (the blooms at not obvious, they're too small) in between the penstemon at the far left and the large butterflyweed, on the hot sidewalk strip.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will-o-wisp View Post
I think the monkey flower is temporarily happy on the hot dryer site because we have had so much rain.
I guess if I want to keep it I'll have to move it.
Yes, I think that would be wise. I see them growing on ditches on the side of the road...I guess they do dry out there at times, but they often are on the edge of standing water.


Quote:
Originally Posted by will-o-wisp View Post
NEWisc, what yellow flowers in particular are you thinking it will grow well with if I move it to a rain garden?
If I may, one that comes to mind is beggar's ticks--the showy one *with* petals...however, I'm not sure if the bloom times would match up. i just know that the beggar's ticks grow in moist locations as well...and are a golden yellow.

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Originally Posted by will-o-wisp View Post
Thanks for the humming bird information, that means I have yet another plant meant for the hummers that never come to my garden.
Oh well, I do have thousands of small flying insects, and bees and dragonflies.
I can't believe you don't get hummingbirds visiting all of those Penstemon and other things you have to offer! Beautiful pictures, by the way.
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dapjwy, excellent idea to continue this thread for figuring out if a plant is" gold... or a dud"




Thanks. Yes, I hope others will contribute to the thread with their questions. I guess I had one of my own about a plant suunto was kind enough to "remind" me was a St. John's wort...one of the native ones. I asked for the plant ID along with the bug ID of what was eating it.

Perhaps the "Should It Stay or Should It Go?" Thread could include insects as well...so far, I've found two detrimental insects eating native plants--that are not themselves native. (I'd leave the native ones alone.)
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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Start a thread...Good guys or bad... whatever?
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
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Nooo "The good the bad and the ugly." Ok that was my choice...It's your ball game
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will-o-wisp View Post
Interesting requirement differences, which is why I was unsure of the ID.
I think the monkey flower is temporarily happy on the hot dryer site because we have had so much rain.
I guess if I want to keep it I'll have to move it. ...
Yes, I'm experiencing the same thing. The plants that like moister conditions are doing great, even those that I've got in less than ideal soil conditions. We've had enough of the rain though, I'm a little concerned that the plants that need drier well-drained soils (Lupine, Butterflyweed, etc.) will start developing some root or crown rot problems.

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... NEWisc, what yellow flowers in particular are you thinking it will grow well with if I move it to a rain garden? ...
I wasn't thinking about any plants in particular. I just have these images in my head of summer prairies being dominated by yellow. Plants like black-eyed susan, coreopsis, sunflowers, some coneflowers, compass plant, cup plant, rosinweed, etc., come to mind. Most of these will do fine in a drier soil; I was assuming that you were planting into a site on the dry side.

My first choice for a rain garden would be the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). It has a red that is just unmatched. Pictures never do it justice. For yellows, sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) is a very nice plant that is often overlooked. Another one is swamp or tufted loosestrife (Lysimachia thyrsiflora), a native loosestrife that may be hard to find. The native St. John's-worts (Hypericum spp.) could also provide some yellow. Wetland plants offer a wide choice of flower colors.

But you are not limited to wetland plants when you think about a rain garden design. Most rain gardens are surrounded by a berm of some kind. The berms are typically quite dry soil conditions, so it opens up another whole palette of plant choices.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:41 AM   #10
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Default Should it Stay or Should it Go?

Should it stay or should it go now?
Should it stay or should it go?
If it stays it could be trouble,
So should I pull it on the double?

Come on and let me know,
Should I pull it or let it grow?
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