Mountain Monardella- Native Flower

By Jim Moore

Mountain Monardella, also called Mountain Coyote Mint (species Monardella odoratissima), is a small native sub-scrub perennial member of the Lamiaceae Mint family. It’s pretty flowers showcase themselves from April through August, depending on elevation. The flowers may be white as in the photos, or depending on location they may be pale pink to light bluish-purple in color. In Nor Cal it grows in the higher elevation regions of the Sierra Nevada, Cascade, Klamath, and North Coast, mountains 

(from about 2000 to 10,000 feet). It’s favorite habitats are somewhat arid open sloped areas within Yellow Pine, Lodge Pole , and Red Fir forests. It may also be found within sagebrush habitats. Mountain Monardella is found throughout the Western states in similar habitats. The photos shown were taken on the South facing upper slopes of Goodrich Mountain, near Westwood in Lassen County.

The caterpillars of several species of small mint moths feed on Mountain Monardella. Also many species of bees, butterflies, and other insects visit the flowers. Like other mint species, the leaves of Mountain Monardella are infused with it’s own minty scent. Mountain Monardella is a good choice to add to home wildflower gardens located within higher elevation regions. It can be grown from seeds, or may be found in nurseries that specialize in native plants. The related Coyote Mint,  (species Monardella villosa), is a good choice for lower elevation areas.