The plant genus Mimulus is rapidly emerging as a model system for studies of evolutionary and ecological functional genomics. Mimulus contains a wide array of phenotypic, ecological and genomic diversity. Numerous studies have proven the experimental tractability of Mimulus in laboratory and field studies. Genomic resources currently under development are making Mimulus an excellent system for determining the genetic and genomic basis of adaptation and speciation. Here, we introduce some of the phenotypic and genetic diversity in the genus Mimulus and highlight how direct genetic studies with Mimulus can address a wide spectrum of ecological and evolutionary questions. In addition, we present the genomic resources currently available for Mimulus and discuss future directions for research. The integration of ecology and genetics with bioinformatics and genome technology offers great promise for exploring the mechanistic basis of adaptive evolution and the genetics of speciation.