Can you help advance Botany? – An appeal for some flower spotting

Hi Everyone,

Having read a number of news articles about the discovery of a new hybrid monkey flower in Leadhills, I just had to contact the gentleman who found it. I suggested that some of our residents would be interested in helping further his research – seeing as how many of us spend time in the hills – he replied, yes. He would like help in preparing some groundwork so that his visit will be as productive as possible. He is planning a trip here in early August so there is not much time.

If you can help, just by keeping your eyes peeled whilst walking the dog(s), do let me know. The aim is to identify and if possible, photograph as many monkey flowers as we can and note down their locations; OS maps or GPS would be ideal, though a good description of the location could be just as effective. With that done, Dr Vallejo can study photos and descriptions as a guide to the most likely places he will find the new species and will also be able to locate them – this will be particularly useful as he has a very large area to cover in quite a short time.

Here’s a look:

Item D is the flower of particular interest, so anything that looks closely like it could be the real McCoy. It is expected that these flowers will most likely be found close to burns, but other locations may well support them. To get more info on the background to this, go to:

My email exchange with Dr Vallejo is reproduced below. It includes some guidance on what Dr Vallejo needs.

If you can help, please get in touch – whatever you spot, even on a five minute walk, could well be significant. Just try to have a camera handy! If you can help spread the word, please do that too.


Mike Fuller.
On 17/07/2012 09:27, Mario Vallejo-Marin wrote:

Dear Mr. Fuller,

I am very happy to receive your email and congratulations, and to hear about the interest in the new species discovered in the area. Thank you very much for posting this finding on the Leadhills online website.

Mimulus peregrinus, has so far only been recorded in the region of the Leadhills and thus this area is of particular significance for the study of this new plant. This summer I am conducting surveys in the region to try finding out the distribution of these plants. Two very similar species occur together here. The most common is a sterile hybrid (M x robertsii), which can be seen along many streams including the Shortcleuch waters and Wanlockhead water. Somewhere among them is the much rarer and hard to identify M. peregrinus, which produces seed and pollen. The flowers are very similar and without fruits is very hard to distinguish M. x robertsii and M. peregrinus.

I am planning to conduct a survey around the Lowther Hills in early August. For my survey I need to identify as many streams as possible where any Mimulus plants grow. If the people of Leadhills are interested at all, I would be very grateful in receiving records of sighting of any Mimulus plants in the area. This will greatly help me to focus my sampling efforts. I would be particularly happy to hear of sightings in places others than where I already looked (Shortcleuch waters, Wanlockhead waters, Glengannock waters).

Ideally what I would need to hear would be:

Location__________     (as many details as possible to facilitate locating the plants again)
Date seen_________
Abundance________    (rare, common, very common)
Photo of the flower_______ (if possible, not essential)

Thank you very much again for your email, and receive my best wishes,


Dr. Mario Vallejo-Marin
Biological and Environmental Sciences
School of Natural Sciences
University of Stirling
Stirling, UK

—–Original Message—–
From: Mike Fuller [mailto:mike]
Sent: 16 July 2012 15:22
To: Mario Vallejo-Marin
Subject: Mimulus Peregrinus

Dear Sir,

As a Leadhills resident I am delighted to learn of your discovery and don’t
doubt my fellow residents will be similarly excited and would like me, offer
heart-felt congratulations.

But to the future. It is my understanding that work on this species would in
part, take the form of monitoring its natural spread and or its prevalence. I
know of a number of Leadhillians who spend considerable in the local wilds –
and am sure that many would be happy to assist in any local endeavour to
extend knowledge of the species; given appropriate guidance and instruction.
One such person called to me today to recount how she had been unable to
identify Mimulus Peregrinus through her wild flowers texts and then
stumbled upon an account of your find in the Scottish Herald; it is her view
that this news is of considerable local interest and that it should be shared
immediately (

If there is any way in which the villagers of Leadhills can assist in furthering
knowledge with respect to Mimulus Peregrinus, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

Mike Fuller.

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