Kellogg’s Monkeyflower (Diplacus kelloggii)
What a treat to discover these tiny, and possibly somewhat rare, monkeyflowers on the dry grassy slopes among the blooming buckbrush and long-needled ponderosa pines on a recent hike in Southern Oregon!
There are three very similar types of purple monkeyflower that are found almost exclusively in southern Oregon and northern California. They aren’t found in many wildflower guides, and we’re not exactly sure which one this is. We’re giving the nod to Kelloggii based on the time of year, elevation, and the fact that wildflower guru Elizabeth Horn, who certainly knows more than us, says to look for them in this exact location in Oregon’s Best Wildflower Hikes: Southwest Region. Based on the leaves, and flower/stylus length, we feel they look more like pictures we’ve seen of the later blooming, higher elevation, and much rarer Jepson’s Monkeyflower (Diplacus Jepsonii), a variation on the more widespread nanus (Dwarf Purple Monkeyflower) species.
We were comforted somewhat by the confusion among experts on identifying the endangered Jepsonii plant from others (recorded in this academic paper), compounded by the newly established Diplacus family, to which this small group of charming plants formerly placed in the mimulus family have been moved.
Maybe some of our more-learned readers can help set us straight?