Mimulus breweri

Many years ago I discovered a tiny population of Mimulus breweri (Brewer’s Monkeyflower) on a bluff half way round Nuk Tessli lake.  It is such a microscopic flower it is hard to see.  Like many monkey flowers it grows on a tiny wet seep coming down a rock face.  I have been to the bluff several times over the years and usually found it finished.

The other day, I canoed to the closest point on the lake and scrambled up the bluff.  The spotted saxifrage was in it’s prime.

spotted saxifrage

spotted saxifrage in halo of wood

The first white mountain rhododendrons were blooming.

The population of pussytoes was doing well.

Finally I reached the rock with the seep.  The buttercup-leaved suksdorfia was in full bloom although many of its leaves had already yellowed with drought. (The plant on the left is a western saxifrage, already going to seed.)

suksdorfia ranunculifolia

At first I could not find any of the monkeyflower.  But a second look showed it growing among the suksdorfia leaves.

mimulus breweri

It is incredibly tiny.  No more than 2 cm high with a flower 2 mm across.  As far as I know it is one of 3 populations in BC: one is north of Pender Harbour on the sunshine coast, and the other in the Okanagan.  How the little flower got to this isolated bluff 5,000 feet high in the mountains is a mystery.  There are never more than a handful of plants, and they die as soon as the seep dries up by the end of July,  so how it hangs in there is also a puzzle.

brewer's monkeyflower

 

 

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