Monkey (flower) business is booming |

Monkey (flower) business is booming

by JoAnn Kittrell
Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

This winter’s abundant precipitation is resulting in a prolific display of a little yellow flower native only to Western Nevada.

The Carson Valley monkeyflower (Erythranthe carsonensis) is only found in the foothills and valley bottoms from the Red Rocks area north of Reno to Dresslerville, near Gardnerville. The diminutive plant, seldom more than a few inches tall, has a distinctive yellow flower with a large red spot on the lower petal and narrow, purplish-green leaves.

Making its home in sagebrush and bitterbrush shrub land, it grows on sandy soils and is often found near desert peach bushes. Conditions are just right this year for the monkeyflower and it has been seen on Prison Hill and the south Indian Hills area.

If you see the Carson Valley monkeyflower, contact Janel Johnson at the Nevada Natural Heritage Program at so the location can be recorded.

The blooms will only last a few weeks before fading away to wait for the next wet winter.

There are 347 species and subspecies of animals and plants that are native to Nevada. For more information on the Nevada Natural Heritage Program or the Carson Valley monkeyflower, visit