Mimulus – or Monkey Flower has invaded the UK. Well, it had a little help – a very strong link with anthropogenic influence (i.e. people) – according to the risk assessment done by the UK Non-Native Species Secretariat. You see it’s an American national – it grows all over the place over there, it didn’t turn up here until about 1812. Once it arrived it sat around and did nothing for most of the time – it was too early to watch television – so it had to make do with whatever British pastimes were available. Bear Baiting wasn’t banned until 1835-ish so he could have popped down the local bear pit, I suppose. But, I’d guess a game or two of quoits, down the pub, would have been the best thing going.
Dr Edward Bach (1886 – 1936) felt Mimulus was needed to help us manage the fear of the known – things we could name.
Quite suddenly, from a few isolated sites in the 1800s – over the last twenty or thirty years – Mimulus has spread. It can now be found over almost the whole of the UK (just last year, for the first time, it turned up in the beck down the road from me, here in the frozen north).
What, then, are these fears that the whole country can name?