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Bush Monkeyflower
Mimulus aurantiacus
(Scrophulariaceae)

Bush Monkeyflower is a favorite of the Common Checkerspot Butterfly. Female Checkerspots search for Monkeyflowers in order to lay their eggs. They identify the host plant by tapping leaves with their front legs, scratching the surface and "tasting" the plant with their feet. Caterpillars proceed to eat the leaves. The leaves contain toxins which when ingested make the caterpillar and adult butterfly distasteful to birds.

DISTRIBUTION: Common on rocky hillsides, cliffs, canyon slopes, disturbed areas, chaparral margins, and open forest throughout the Calif. Floristic Province; < 1600 m.
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