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Moluccella laevis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MINT FAMILY
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 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). Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MoluccellaView Description 

Habit: Annual, generally glabrous. Stem: erect, generally simple. Leaf: petioled; blade crenate to lobed. Inflorescence: axillary, subtended by leaves; flowers 4--10; bracts spine-forked. Flower: calyx > corolla, obliquely funnel-shaped, 5--10-toothed, becoming membranous, net-veined, persistent in fruit; corolla 2-lipped, lower lip > upper, upper hood-like, lower 3--4-lobed, lobes unequal; stamens 4, ascending under upper lip, lower pair +- > upper pair; style lobes unequal. Fruit: nutlet 3-angled, top +- truncate.
Species In Genus: 2 species: Mediterranean. Etymology: (Latin: mistakenly named for Molucca Islands, Indonesia)
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller

Moluccella laevis L.
Stem: < 6 dm, sometimes branched at base. Leaf: blade 1.5--4 cm, generally < petiole, +- round, palmately veined. Flower: calyx 2--3 cm wide, generally light green, becoming tan, teeth minute; corolla 14--16 mm, white or pink, tube puberulent inside, lower lip 4-lobed, lateral lobes < central 2 lobes.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, roadsides; Elevation: < 750 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRI, ScV, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: northern to British Columbia, eastern to eastern Nevada, southwestern Utah, Rocky Mountains; native to southern Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller
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Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller 2016. Moluccella laevis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for Moluccella laevis:
NCoRI, ScV, SnFrB;
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.