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Willowy Monardella
Monardella viminea
About Willowy Monardella (Monardella viminea) Nurseries Show All Photos Willowy Monardella (Monardella viminea) is an extremely rare native perennial herb in the Lamiaceae (Mint) family that grows almost exclusively in San Diego County and northern Baja. It is listed as Endangered at the federal level and is included in CNPS list 1B.1. 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. This species was formerly classified as a subspecies of Monardella linoides, and many sources still list it that way.

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. Although it can be tricky to provide the right soil and water conditions, it is recommended for coastal gardens in the southern part of the state.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.8 - 1.6 ft (0.24 - 0.49 m)

Max. Width
2 - 4 ft (0.6 - 1.2 m)

Fragrant - Pleasant

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Lavender, Pink

Flowering Season

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
In the wild this plant is found on marine terraces, mesas, benches, and stabilized sandbars along ephemeral drainages in coastal sage scrub or riparian scrub habitat. These semi-open washes and drainage areas typically contain little to no canopy cover and are maintained by large intermittent water flows that erode and deposit alluvial material, developing benches and sandbars.

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
122' - 5118'

Annual Precip. ?
7.9" - 21.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.24" - 1.70"

Coldest Month ?
39.8° F - 54.4° F

Hottest Month ?
70.1° F - 77.3° F

Humidity ?
1.33 vpd - 22.64 vpd

Soil Description
This plant is fairly picky about soil, requiring coarse sand or decomposed granite along with cobbles and larger rocks

Soil PH
6.5 - 7.8


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 25° F

Companion Plants
Wild companions include Eriogonum fasciculatum (California Buckwheat), Platanus racemosa (sycamore), Artemisia californica (California Sagebrush), Baccharis sarothroides (coyotebush), and Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak). It the garden it can be used with any other chaparral or sage scrub plants that need similar soil and water conditions.

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects including butterflies

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Can be deadheaded if desired to encourage more flowering

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Other Names
Botanical Names
Monardella linoides ssp. viminea

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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