Marin Monardella species

In Marin County we have three species of Monardella.

One is an annual of coastal sand dunes mostly on Point Reyes.
This is Monardella  sinuata var. nigrescens, a listed rare plant that was once thought to be Monardella undulata. Now Monardella undulata has been declared a different species because it is a shrubby perennial with much more strongly wavy-margined leaves.

The other two are perennials.
The first I mention here is Siskiyou monardella, Monardella purpurea, which is nearly hairless and has shiny leaves. It is nearly always found growing on serpentine areas such as Ring Mountain and Carson Ridge.

The other is coyote-mint, Monardella villosa which is divided by Jepson Manual 2 into two subspecies.
The most common subspecies is Monardella villosa ssp. villosa, which has oval, hairy leaves and grows commonly in open grassland and chaparral plant communities.
Monardella villosa ssp. franciscana is more localized in distribution being mainly in coastal scrub on Point. Reyes.  It is usually  woolly-hairy and has triangular leaves.

Text by Doreen Smith – Photos by Vernon Smith.  Click on the small images to see larger versions.