©The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
August 2005, June 2007, January 2014, June 2014, June 2015, Sep 2016

Monardella linoides ssp. anemonoides
Kern Co.: California. S Sierra Nevada, east slopes of the Greenhorn Mts., Old State Rd, Tillie Creek, 4,600 ft, CNPS Chapter Field Trip, 30 May 2015.


Monardella linoides ssp. anemonoides
Kern Co.: California. Piute Mt, north slope, upper chaparral region below  conifer zone, 19 June 2016


Monardella linoides
Lees Valley, Death Valley Natl. Park,
Joshua Tree Wd., June 2007

Monardella linoides ssp. oblonga
Kern Co.: California. Transverse Ranges, north slope of Mt Abel just below the white fir zone, 7500 ft, 29 June 2016.




Monardella linoides ssp. oblonga

California. Piute Mt, north slope, montane chaparral,
9 June 2016




Monardella linoides ssp. sierrae
Kern Co.: California. Piute Mt, north slope, upper chaparral region below  conifer zone, 9 June 2016


Monardella odoratissima ssp. glauca
 California. Eastern Sierra Nevada, Virginia Lakes, Tumbell Campground, lodgpole pine forest, 9600 ft.
7 Aug 2010.


Monardella odoratissima ssp. pallida

Kern Co.: California. S Sierra Nevada, Greenhorn Mts., Rancheria Rd, Mixed Conifer Forest, 6,000 ft, CNPS Chapter Field Trip, 25 May 2013 

Monardella odoratissima
Marble Mts. Wilderness, CA
Chaparral and open woodland
forest along ridge, trail from
Haypress Meadows to
One-Mile Lake, July 2004


Trees and Shrubs of Kern County (Jan 2013, Sep 2016)


Monardella. Aromatic annuals to shrubs; perennial species usually with single terminal flower heads, annuals with multiple flowering heads per stem; stems quadrangular; leaves opposite; flowers as many as 100 per head in heads subtended by veiny papery and/or leafy bracts, white, lavender, purple or red; stamens 4; ovary of two carpels, each carpel deeply divided, 1–4 half-carpels or mericarps (or “nutlets”) mature as microbasarium fruit. ±30 spp. in western North America, 7 in Kern County, 4 of which are shrubs or subshrubs with 6 subspecies; 3 species used in native American medicine for treating colds, headaches, stomach problems, indigestion, and related ailments, and as “love medicine” (Moerman); 6 extracts screened by the NCI prior to 1980, none active. Species and subspecies intergrade. Jepson (1925) noted under M. linoides that bracts can vary greatly in size in a single head; nevertheless, differences in bract size and shape applied in the following key based on key of A. C. Sanders, Elvin & Brunell in JM2.  Other characters described for the species such as color of bracts, color of flowers, and thickness of peduncle may not correlate with key characters. Jepson (1925) treated the subspecies as varieties, but also referred to them as forms.  Many CCH specimens collected from Kern County show annotations by Sanders, Elvin and/or Brunnell.  

Key to Monardella species and subspecies


1. Stems and leaves silvery to yellowish green from a dense continuous
cover of very short, stiff,  downward curved hairs; veins of
involucral bracts prominent, strongly erect from base to apex, closely
parallel, not forking....................... .................................. Monardella linoides-2

2. Stem leaves relatively narrow, 4–12× longer than wide
(including petiole), narrow ellitpic or slightly wider below mid region,
usually ≤4mm wide, 1.0–2.5 cm long................... ............................ ssp. linoides

...... 2. Stem leaves relatively broad to their length, 2–4 × longer than wide,
widest near base or mid region or near apex, ≥4mm wide, to 3.5 cm long......... 3

3. Stems 15–25 cm; bracts elliptic to lanceolate, acuminate; western
Transverse Ranges; Tehachapi Mts., Piute Mts..... .......................... ssp. oblonga

...... 3. Stems 20–60 cm; bracts broadly lanceolate to ovate; Sierra Nevada
and northern Mojave Desert…………………………………………………….4

4. Leaves well-developed at base of plant, often 2× or more longer
than mid stem leaves; flower heads 2–3 cm wide; bracts of
head 15–25 mm × 10–14 mm....... ........... ........... ................. ssp. anemonoides

...... 4. Leaves increasing in width more than length near base of plant;
flower heads 1.5–2.6 cm wide, head bracts 7–15 mm × 6–9 mm.....
ssp. sierrae


1. Stems and leaves green, or if whitish hairs present, wavy and loosely
interwoven; bract veins often forking one or more times, or
ascending (curved), or not prominent................... ............................................. 5


5. Leaves triangular, <1 cm, margins wavy and lobed. ........... Monardella beneolens

5. Leaves heart shaped to elliptical, > 1 cm, margins entire....................................... 6


6. Flower heads closely subtended by leaves, or leaf-like bracts that spread
outwards or are reflexed rather than overlap; leaves nearly heart-shaped,
2–2.5× longer than wide; leaf with prominent pinnate veins impressed
on upper surface........................................ ............................. Monardella villosa

6. Bracts more round and distinct from lower leaves, ascending to erect;
leaves narrower, elliptical to sword-shaped, 3–4× longer than
wide; leaves veins not strongly pinnate, and not
impressed.................................................................. Monardella odoratissima-7

...... 7. Leaves glabrous; bracts round and long hairy below northern
and western Idaho to eastern Washington and Oregon............ ssp. odoratissima

...... 7. Leaves hairy; bracts narrower, elliptical or round near base and
abruptly tapered to a pointed apex, or margins mostly parallel and
slightly wider near base; Kern Co. and elsewhere.............................................. 8

...... 8. Stems purplish to gray and glaucous; flowers lavender to purple or
reddish purple; bracts partly scarious to entirely scarious, leafy part more
near apex of bract; leaves just below involucres 8–10 mm, or sometimes
absent.................................................................... ............................ ssp.. glauca

...... 8. Stems green and  hairy; flowers white, or occasionally lavender;
bracts leafy near apex and scarious near base; leaves just below
involucres always present, 10–20 mm................... ............................. ssp. pallida


Monardella beneolens Shevock, Ertter & Jokerst 1989. Sweet smelling Monardella. Low aromatic matted subshrub, wider than high, except for flower stems; leaves crowded near base of flowering stems, up to 4 pairs on flowering stems, not necessarily at base of involucre, triangular, lobed and wavy along margins, tapering to a narrow rounded apex, <1cm long; bracts erect, wide triangular, straw colored, sometimes rose tinged, uniformly tapered to a pointed apex, or more abruptly tapered just below apex; flowering Apr–Sep; flowers lavender to pale rose. Rare, on decomposed granite, talus and on rock slabs among open sugar pine, Jeffrey pine, and white fir forest, or edges of timberline—fox-tail pine forest, or chaparral of manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula), mountain mahogany, and desert sweet; Sierra Crest from Inyo Co. (Olancha Peak)  to Owens Peak, Kern Co., 2,438–3,600 m. Type from Kern Co.: Near summit of Owens Peak, 2, 500 m.  Kern Co.: Owens Peak, 2,438–2,561 m (CCH).

Monardella linoides A. Gray 1876 ssp. linoides. Flax-leaved Monardella. Rounded subshrubs from a woody taproot, branching at or above base, to 50 cm high and broad; stems densely covered with short  retrorse (downward pointing) hairs, 4–12× longer than wide (including petiole), narrow ellitpic or slightly wider below mid region, usually ≤4mm wide, 1.0–2.5 cm long, slightly curved or folded upwards lengthwise from midrib, narrowed at base to a winged petiole, or without petiole; flowering Jun–Aug; flower scapes ascending to erect, to 1 m; with scattered pairs of leaves, or appearing leafless; bracts of flower heads membranous, rounded near base, triangular above mid region, tapering to a pointed apex, white to rose; flowers lavender to violet. Montane chaparral and woodland, mostly 3,000–6,500 ft, occasionally reported at lower elevations, Type from vicinity of  the Oriflamme Mine, Cuyamaca Mts., San Diego Co., CA. Kern Co.:  The Twisselmann reference to this subspecies as “occasional from the chaparral to the edge of the yellow pine forest south to Breckenridge Mountain and the Piute Mountain” appears to be ssp. anemonoides, which was formerly included under ssp. linoides Specimen images: SEINet: Monument Peak, Cleveland National Forest, 1890 m (6199 ft), Sproul 7 Jul 1977 (DES); Riverside Co., Santa Rosa Mountains, ridge east of Toro, 7500 ft (2286 m), Munz 14 Aug 1938 (USU).

Monardella linoides ssp. anemonoides (Monardella anemonoides Greene 1902) Elvin & A.C. Sanders 2009 [M. linoides var. anemonoides (Greene) Jepson 1925]. Flowering stems ascending to 60 cm; leaves similar to preceding but larger, erect in the type, spreading in other plants, 1.5–3.5 cm × 4–8 mm, much larger and more crowded at base of plant; bracts 15–25 mm × 10–14 mm, exceeding the calyx, white to rose, rounded at base, tapered to a pointed apex; flowers Jun–Aug, pale purple to purple.  Decomposed granite, upper montane forest, chaparral, and pinyon-juniper woodland, (2,700-) 5,560–8,100 ft, m; southern Sierra Nevada, Tulare and Kern Cos. Type from Kern Co., Greenhorn Mts, 6000–7000 ft, Palmer Jun 1988 (US holotype!, NY, MO). Kern Co.: CCH— Kern Plateau, rim of plateau just east of Fay Creek Canyon, 7200 ft (2194 m, CAS); Greenhorn Mts., Alta Sierra, along SR 155 at junction with Elm Street, 1,822 m, Elvin 4 Aug 2006 (SD); ~5 miles above and west of Kernville, ~2,800 ft (853 m), Roxanna S. Ferris & R. Bacigalupi, 14 Jul 1941 (DS); Piute Mountains, Geringer Grade near the summit, 6800 ft, common, growing in good decomposed granite soil in a thin ponderosa pine forest, Twisselmann 17 Jul 1956 (CAS); Breckenridge Mountain Road, 5.6 miles west of Havilah Road, 4,700 ft, scarce, sandy clay on a north slope in dense chaparral, Twisselmann 18 Jul 1959 (CAS); Kern River Canyon, Democrat Hots Springs. Epling & Robison, 4 Jul 1935 (UC); Tehachapi Mts., Top Bess Peak, vicinity of Bisses Station, Dudley 26 Jun 1895 (cited in Jepson 1925; DS).  A Morgan Hills survey (Aug 2011) mapped 1.496 individuals for 43 sites, generally on loose granitic soils with Pinus monophylla, Quercus wislizeni, Eriogonum nudum, Cryptantha oxygona, Erysimum  capitatum and Silene  SEINet: Greenhorn Mountain; about 5 miles above and west of Kernville, 1800 ft (853 m), Roxanna S. Ferris & R. Bacigalupi, 14 Jul 1941 (USU).

Monardella linoides ssp. oblonga (Monardella oblonga Greene 1902) Abrams 1951. Tehachapi Monardella. Low rounded subshrub, flowering stems 15–25 cm high; leaves sword-shaped or widest above mid region, 1.0–2.0 cm × 4–7 mm; bracts 9–15 mm × 6–10 mm, exceeding the calyx, rose, rounded at base, tapered to a pointed apex; flowering Jun–Aug; flowers pale lavender to violet. Chaparral, woodland and forest slopes and flats, 1,500–2,600 m.  Type from mountains south of Tehachapi, Greene 24 Jun 1889 (NDG-holotype, UC-isotype). Kern Co.: “Occasional in the Jeffrey pine forest and the pinyon woodland from Lookout Point in the Piute Mountains south to Ventura County in the Mt. Pinos region” (Twisselmann). Additional references and specimens—Piute Mts.—Long Canyon: Along forest trail 34E31, 4500 ft, area burned in early July of 1984, stump-sprouting chaparral plants in a former grey pine and California juniper woodland, Shevock  18 Oct 1984 (CAS); fairly common 4000-6900 ft S- to W-facing slopes (Keeler-Wolf 1990); 1,494–2,529 m (CCH).

Monardella linoides ssp. sierrae Elvin & A.C. Sanders 2009.  Flowering stems to 50 cm; leaves varying from widest below to widest above the mid region, 2.0–3.0 cm × 4–10 mm; bracts 7–15 mm × 6–9 mm, often wider towards base; bracts exceeding the calyx or equal, pale to rose, rounded to triangular at base, tapered to a pointed apex; flowers Jun–Sep, pink to lavender.  Chaparral woodland and conifer forest, 1,000–3,500 m; Eastern Sierra Nevada and White Mts., Mono and Inyo cos. south to Upper Jawbone Canyon in Kern Co. Type from Inyon Co., desert slopes near Big Pine Creek, at foot of trail to Big Pine Lakes, 8500 ft, R. S. Ferris, 24 Jul 1934 (holotype UC [photo in Elvin & Sanders, Novon 19: 332, 2009!]; isotypes DS NY).  Kern Co.: CCH—Eastern Sierra Nevada: Owens Peak Eastern Watershed, Grapevine Canyon, 1220 m, Fraga et al. 19 May 2003 (UCS); South end of the summit ridge of Scodie (Kiahvah) Mountain, pinyon woodland, 6300 ft, scarce in metamorphic gravel and loam near a large outcrop, Twisselmann 19 Sep 1967 (CAS); Upper Jawbone Canyon Rd, 3 miles N of Geringer Grade, 1829 m (Emerald Mountain 15' USGS Quad), R. Twitchell, 19 Jul 1977 (RSA. Piute Mts.: Along Saddle Springs-Claraville Road on ridge north of Liepel Peak, 0.9 mile southwest of Bodfish-Havilah Road, 1219 m, Breedlove 14 Jul 1962 (CAS); Piute Mountain, on road 2.2 mi from intersection with Havilah-Bodfish road, Raven 8 Jun 1956 (LA).

Monardella odoratissima Bentham 1834 [ssp. odoratissima]. Coyote mint. Reported by Calflora Taxon Report to occur in Kern Co., but not recognized in JM2 to occur in  California.  Generally found north of California. Type collected near the narrows above Kettle Falls on the Columbia River, Washington.

Monardella odoratissima ssp. glauca (Monardella glauca Greene 1901) Epling 1925 [Includes Ssp. parvifolia (Greene) Epling, type from Gunnison Canyon near Cimarron  CO, misapplied to California plants]. Coyote mint. Low rounded subshrub, with shortly branched leafy stems, and green to purplish flowering stems to 30 cm high; leaves appearing thick, green to grayish green, variable in shape, generally 1.5–2.5 cm; flower heads with or without green leaves; bracts broadly round near base to elliptical, spreading to erect, entirely scarious to partly green at tips, 9–15 mm × 5–9 mm, short hairy and ciliate along margins, pale to rose purple; flowers Jun–Aug, lavender to reddish purple.  Dry montane forests,  1,000–3,500 m; northern California, Great Basin, to Arizona.  Type from Deserts of eastern Oregon. Kern Co.: Occasional in ponderosa pine forest in the Greenhorn Range and Jeffrey pine forest near summit of Breckenridge Mountain (Twisselmann under ssp. parvifolia). CCH—Kern Plateau: Southwest of Pine Flat, between granitic blocks at the summit of an exposed ridgetop, arid sparse Jeffrey pine association, 7300 ft, Twisselmann 10 Jul 1963 (CAS); base of the Kern Kaweah River, 8200 ft (2400 m), Epling 27 Aug 1934 (UC). Greenhorn Mts.: Greenhorn Pass, 5000–6000 ft, Purpus July 1897 (UC); Greenhorn Mountain Park, 6000 ft, W. Maynard Kirkwood, 19 Jun 1941 (CAS); Tiger Flat, D. F. Howe 1 Jun 1947 (SD).

Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida (Monardella pallida A. Heller 1904) Epling 1925. Rounded subshrub with shortly branched leafy stems, and erect green flowering stems to 45 cm high; leaves tongue shaped to nearly elliptical, usually widest below mid region, abruptly tapering to base, green without hairs or grayish hairy, ~ 3× longer than wide, 2.5–4.3 cm; flower heads with green leaves 1.0–2.0 cm; bracts broadly round near base to elliptical, spreading to erect, green to purplish near tips, purplish below, short to long wooly hairy; flowers Jun–Sep, white to pale lavender.  Dry montane forests,  Oregon south into California, Klamath and Cascade Regions south along Inner Coast Ranges to Lake Co., and Sierra Nevada to Kern Co., to western NV.  Type from foot of the ridge on south side of Donner Lake, Nevada Co., CA. Kern Co.: Southern Sierra Nevada, Owens Peak Watershed and Sunday Peak (Greenhorn Mts.), 1,220–2,468 m (CCH).

Monardella villosa Bentham 1844 ssp. villosa (includes Monardella subserrata Greene 1902). Hairy coyote mint. Matted to openly branched subshrub to 60 cm high; stems weak, uniformly leafy from base to flower heads, with wooly hairs; leaves generally heart shaped, tapering from a rounded base to apex, green, conspicuously impressed veined on upper surface, broadly tapered to base, 1–3.3× longer than wide 1.0–3.0 cm long, usually toothed along margins; bracts similar to leaves, 1.0–3.0 cm, reflexed; flowers May–Aug, pink to purple. Chaparral and woodlands below 5,000 ft, Klamath Region of  Oregon south into California along foothills of Sierra Nevada and west to the Coast Ranges to San Benito County with a disjunct occurrence reported from Breckenridge Mt. in Kern Co.  Type from Bodega Bay, CA. Kern Co.: Top of Breckenridge Mountain, mountain summit on serpentine, 5,200 ft  (2,134 m) (CCH: F. C. Vasek, 6 Jul 1988, UCR).