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    Vascular Plants of California
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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, except as noted
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
Reference: Ryding 1998 Syst Bot 23:235--247; Cronquist & Reveal 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:324--325

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: north to British Columbia, east to eastern Nevada, southwestern Utah, Rocky Mountains; native to southern Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller
Reference: Ryding 1998 Syst Bot 23:235--247; Cronquist & Reveal 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:324--325
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Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller 2012, Moluccella laevis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2018.

Geographic subdivisions for Moluccella laevis:
NCoRI, ScV, SnFrB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.