WHAT IS THE WILLOWY MONARDELLA?
The Willowy Monardella (Monardella viminea) is an extremely rare native perennial herb in the Lamiaceae (Mint) family that grows almost exclusively in San Diego County.
Within San Diego it is found in small isolated occurrences within three watersheds, no more than 30 miles from the coast. Only eight naturally occurring locations are known to exist.
Willow monardella is a California endangered plant species, which means that killing or possession of plants collected from the wild is prohibited by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The species is also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
In 2012, only eight natural occurrences still exist. Willowy monardella has consistently decreased in its range and population numbers in recent decades. It is seriously threatened by urbanization, hydrological alterations, road improvements, vehicles, and invasive species of plants.
Willowy monardella is a perennial herb with a strong minty fragrance. It generally grows in clumps of one to four plants, and has compact, rose to light-purple flower heads.
Despite its rarity and protected status, this plant has been propagated and is sometimes available at nurseries. It has a delightful fragrance. The pink to lavender flowers are quite attractive, and it does well in containers.
Latin name: Monardella viminea
Greene Pronunciation: mon-ar-DEL-la vim-IN-ee-a
Common name: Willowy monardella
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint)
Habitat: Rocky washes to 1000′,
chaparral, coastal sage scrub, SW San Diego Co.
Blooming period: June to August