The, so-called because of an alleged resemblance of the open bloom to the face of a grinning monkey, is a short-lived perennial which is usually grown as a half hardy . The plants are low growing and have a special place in the garden – they flourish in damp soil and shady sites where few other can thrive. Use for summer bedding in sunless places and in window boxes on the north-facing side of the house.
VARIETIES: The varieties of M.cupreus bear trumpet-shapedin orange or red – ‘Red Emperor’ (flame-scarlet) is a popular type. M.luteus is more colourful, with yellow flowers which are marked with red or purple blotches. The varieties and hybrids of M. varie-gatus are rather similar but are larger – up to 2 in. across. You will find ‘Queen’s Prize’ and ‘Royal Velvet’ in the catalogues.
SITE AND SOIL: A moist soil which is not allowed to dry out is essential – some shade is desirable.
PLANT DETAILS: Height June-September. 9 in.
Spacing: 9 in.
PROPAGATION: Follow the Half Hardy Annual technique . Plant out when the danger of frost is past.