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Vascular Plants of California
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Monardella sheltonii

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: MonardellaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Etymology: (Latin: small Monarda) Note: 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).
eFlora Treatment Author: Andrew C. Sanders, Mark A. Elvin & Mark S. Brunell
Reference: Elvin & Sanders 2009 Novon 19:315--343; Epling 1925 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 12:1--106; Jepson 1943 Fl California 431--444
Unabridged Reference: Abrams 1951 Ill Fl Pac Sts V III:648--660
Monardella sheltonii Torr.
Habit: Subshrub, erect, open, +- glabrous, rhizomed. Stem: +- glabrous. Leaf: 16--34 mm (including petiole, 3--4 mm), 8--11(15) mm wide, lanceolate, entire to weakly toothed, adaxially +- glabrous, abaxially densely, minutely, evenly puberulent (hairs < 0.05 mm). Inflorescence: flower cluster 1 per main stem, 10--29 mm wide; bracts 7--17 mm, 4--8 mm wide, exceeding calyx, inconspicuously or not ciliate, cilia generally < 0.5 mm; outer bracts +- leaf-like, only slightly modified, strongly reflexed; innermost bracts linear to ovate. Flower: calyx 6--8 mm, lobes not or slightly hairier than tube; corolla (12)15--20 mm, purple.
Ecology: Rocky openings, montane forest, oak woodland, chaparral, often serpentine; Elevation: 425--1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, s CaR, n SN. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Difficult to distinguish. Intergrades extensively with Monardella villosa subsp. villosa (into KR, possibly Oregon) and Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida (in SNH). Likely best treated as an infraspecific taxon but relationships unclear. Study needed.
Unabridged Synonyms: Monardella villosa var. sheltonii (Torr.) Jeps.; Monardella villosa subsp. sheltonii (Torr.) Epling
Unabridged Note: Has been applied to many intergrading specimens. Many plants attributed to this taxon appear to be intermediate between Monardella villosa and Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida. May warrant recognition as a infraspecific taxon of Monardella odoratissima because of its short hairs and the predominant portion of its range in northern SN. Like Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida and Monardella villosa, has long, reflexed leaves immediately subtending flower clusters. Can be separated from Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida by the short hairs or absence of hairs on the bracts and by the glands of the leaves (and elsewhere), which are at the surface of the epidermis, not sunken in pits. Conspicuous golden spheres of exudate (still "liquid" after 50+ years!) are above each gland. In both Monardella odoratissima subsp. pallida and Monardella odoratissima subsp. glauca, the glands are sunken in pits and the exudate does not form clear spheres, but fills the bowl of the pit like soup. Like Monardella villosa except that it lacks the long hairs and the short hairs appear denser; both taxa have the surface glands and exudate spheres.
Jepson eFlora Author: Andrew C. Sanders, Mark A. Elvin & Mark S. Brunell
Reference: Elvin & Sanders 2009 Novon 19:315--343; Epling 1925 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 12:1--106; Jepson 1943 Fl California 431--444
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Andrew C. Sanders, Mark A. Elvin & Mark S. Brunell 2012, Monardella sheltonii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 19, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 19, 2024.

Monardella sheltonii
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©2007 George W. Hartwell
Monardella sheltonii
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©2005 George W. Hartwell
Monardella sheltonii
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©2008 Keir Morse
Monardella sheltonii
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©2007 George W. Hartwell
Monardella sheltonii
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©2016 Dana York

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Geographic subdivisions for Monardella sheltonii:
KR, s CaR, n SN.
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).