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Glorious mimulus

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of April (Early Spring at Ingram), I noted that the Breamish Valley was beginning to turn green again after the winter and that, especially, the yellow flowers of the gorse had started to brighten the whole valley. A month later (Spring Nature Walk: Part 1) the gorse was in full bloom and it had been joined by yet more yellow flowers, this time from the hundreds of broom shrubs along the valley.

Glorious mimulus along the River Breamish

Now, while the broom is still heavy with bright flowers, the gorse is beginning to fade a little. However, it’s still possible to see them side-by-side, particularly along the banks of the River Breamish. Over the past few days they’ve also been joined by another beautiful, and again predominantly yellow, flower: mimulus. See the photo above which was taken at Branton footbridge. The broom and gorse mainly line the banks and the mimulus can be seen growing in the rocks and pebbles of the riverbed.

Glorious mimulus?

There are about 150 species of Mimulus. Most are annuals or herbacious perennials (like primula) but a few do have woody stems. They are also called monkey-flowers because some flowers are thought to be shaped like a monkey’s face/head. What do you think?

Monkey face plant

Does this look like a monkey face to you?

The majority of mimulus along the River Breamish are like the plant pictured above: a primarily yellow flower with orange-red highlights. Nevertheless, there are a few variant orange-coloured plants. I find them particularly attractive, as they contrast against the gentle mounds of their yellow counterparts.

Orange mimulus

Orange-coloured mimulus

That said, the preponderance of yellow mimulus is especially eye-catching:

Glorious mimulus in the Breamish Valley

Distinctive, predominantly yellow mimulus along the River Breamish

If you have the opportunity, come and see the glorious mimulus in the Breamish Valley…you won’t regret it!

Glorious mimulus along Breamish Valley

Glorious mimulus in the Breamish Valley

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