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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera

Annual to shrub [tree, vine], glabrous to hairy, generally aromatic. Stem: generally erect, generally 4-angled. Leaf: generally simple to deeply lobed, generally opposite, generally gland-dotted. Inflorescence: generally cymes, generally many in dense axillary clusters surrounding stem, generally separated by evident internodes or collectively crowded, spike- or panicle-like, occasionally head-like or raceme, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers sessile or pedicelled. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx generally 5-lobed, radial to bilateral; corolla generally bilateral, 1–2-lipped, upper lip entire or 2-lobed, ± flat to hood-like, occasionally 0, lower lip generally 3-lobed; stamens generally 4, epipetalous, generally exserted, paired, pairs generally unequal, occasionally 2, staminodes 2 or 0; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed to base chambers 2, ovules 2 per chamber, style 1, generally arising from center at junction of lobes, stigmas generally 2. Fruit: generally 4 nutlets, generally ovoid to oblong, smooth.
± 230 genera, 7200 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for herbs, oils (Lavandula, lavender; Mentha, mint; Rosmarinus, rosemary; Thymus, thyme), some cultivated as ornamental (in California Cedronella, Leonotis, Monarda, Phlomis). [Harley et al. 2004 Fam Generally Vasc Plant 7:167–275] Moluccella laevis L., shell flower, historical waif in California. Satureja calamintha (L.) Scheele subsp. ascendens (Jordan) Briq. reported as alien but not naturalized. Salazaria moved to Scutellaria; California Hyptis moved to Condea, California Satureja moved to Clinopodium. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Lamiaceae


Andrew C. Sanders, Mark A. Elvin & Mark S. Brunell

Annual to shrub, ± gland-dotted, scented. Leaf: entire to serrate, margin flat or wavy; petioles 0 or present, often grading into blade. Inflorescence: flowers in compact clusters of >= 1 per main stem, these occasionally arrayed in panicles (rarely spikes); flowers 3–100 per cluster; bracts generally erect in a cup-like involucre or reflexed, reduced in size inward, leaf-like to membranous in texture, green or straw-colored to rose or purple, linear to ovate, acuminate to acute or obtuse. Flower: calyx 5-lobed; 4–25 mm; corolla white to purple or yellow to red, weakly bilateral, upper lip erect, 2-lobed, lower lip recurved, 3-lobed; stamens 4; style unequally 2-lobed.
> 30 species: western North America. (Latin: small Monarda) [Elvin & Sanders 2009 Novon 19:315–343; Epling 1925 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 12:1–106; Jepson 1943 Fl California 431–444] Complex; study needed; many taxa intergrade; flower cluster width and bract orientation given for pressed specimens. Leaf length including petiole, if present. M. Brunell authored Monardella follettii (in part), Monardella odoratissima (in part), Monardella palmeri, Monardella purpurea, Monardella sheltonii (in part), Monardella stebbinsii, Monardella villosa (in part).
Unabridged references: [Abrams 1951 Ill Fl Pac Sts V III:648–660]

Key to Monardella

M. odoratissima Benth. COYOTE-MINT
Subshrub. Stem: 10–45 cm, ascending to erect, sparsely hairy (± glabrous), rarely to occasionally with sparse, stalked, conical glands; distal stem diam 0.5–1.2 mm. Leaf: 15–50 mm, 5–18 mm wide, lanceolate to ovate, entire, sparsely to densely hairy, green to ash-gray, generally purple-tinged, glands on abaxial face in obvious pits. Inflorescence: flower clusters 1–several per main stem, 12–28(37) mm wide; generally subtended by unmodified leaves; bracts erect, in cup-like involucre, lanceolate to ovate, acute to obtuse, glabrous to woolly, ciliate, scarious, pale ± green or tinged purple to rose. Flower: calyx 6–11 mm, tube appressed-hairy, lobes densely spreading-stiff-hairy or woolly, hairs <= 1 mm; corolla 10–20 mm, white, lavender, or purple. Ashy-gray, pale, chaffy-bracted, puberulent plants of northeastern Siskiyou Co. that have been identified as Monardella odoratissima subsp. odoratissima intergrade or are intermediate in morphology between subspecies glauca and pallida; if recognized taxonomically, plants in High North Coast Ranges with spreading, soft, wavy leaf hairs (and highly variable bract morphology) assignable to Monardella odoratissima subsp. pinetorum (Heller) Epling (study needed). [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Monardella ovata Greene; Monardella odoratissima var. ovata (Greene) Jeps.]
Unabridged note: Intergrades with Monardella purpurea (in Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges), Monardella linoides, Monardella eremicola, and possibly Monardella follettii. Type specimen of Monardella odoratissima subsp. odoratissima is from northern Washington; if recognized taxonomically, ashy-gray, pale, chaffy-bracted, puberulent plants of northeastern Siskiyou Co. assignable to subsp. odoratissima. The distribution of this variant is generally from Little Mount Hoffman (Siskiyou Co.) northeastern to Oregon; more study needed. Variation in California generally as follows: conical glands on stems widespread, but lacking in Warner Mountains and northern Sierra Nevada (southwestern Plumas and northern Sierra cos.); leaf hairs most dense in High North Coast Ranges (Glenn and Tehama cos.) and central Sierra Nevada (Madera, Tulare, and northeastern El Dorado cos.); serrate leaves occur in the vicinity of Sonora Pass (Mono and Tuolumne cos.) and near Camel Peak (Plumas Co.), possibly reflecting intergradation with Monardella sheltonii. Leaf blade length-to-width ratio generally < 2 in High North Coast Ranges, southern Cascade Range, and northern Sierra Nevada at < 2000 m elevation; leaf blade length-to-width ratio > 3.8 in central Sierra Nevada at > 2000 m elevation (leaf blade width generally negatively correlated with elevation); bract hairs generally least dense in central Sierra Nevada (Mono Co.), most dense in northern High North Coast Ranges and lower elevations of southern Sierra Nevada (Madera and Tulare cos.). Plants with only scarious bracts common in Warner Mountains and eastern Cascade Range of Siskiyou Co.

M. odoratissima subsp. glauca (Greene) Epling
Stem: 10–30 cm, green to dark gray, appearing glaucous. Leaf: highly variable on same plant, 15–25 mm (including petiole, 0–8 mm), 5–10 mm wide, generally elliptic to ovate, entire, ± glabrous to hairy. Inflorescence: flower cluster 1–several per main stem, (13)16–28(33) mm wide; subtended by reflexed, unmodified leaves 8–10 mm or not, bracts 9–15 mm, 5–9 mm wide, occasionally leaf-like (in color, texture) at tip and scarious at base, or spreading to erect and scarious throughout, elliptic to ovate, glabrous to finely short-hairy, ciliate, pale, ± gray, rose, or purple. Flower: calyx (6.5)8–10(11) mm, tube puberulent to longer-hairy, lobes sparsely to densely stiff-hairy; corolla 10–20 mm, lavender to red-purple or purple.
Rocky openings, sagebrush scrub to subalpine forest; 1000–3500 m. Klamath Ranges, High North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province; Oregon, Nevada, Arizona. [Monardella glauca Greene; Monardella odoratissima var. glauca (Greene) H. St. John; Monardella ovata Greene; Monardella odoratissima var. ovata (Greene) Jeps.] Distribution outside California needs more study. Intergrades with Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida along Sierra Nevada crest; more study needed. Intergrades with Monardella linoides subspecies, and Monardella eremicola in areas of overlap. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Extremely variable in leaf shape and plant color; green and gray plants may co-occur in a single population.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Monardella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Monardella odoratissima subsp. glauca
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2006 Steve Matson

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Monardella odoratissima subsp. glauca Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.