Monardella odoratissima (mountain coyote mint, mountain beebalm, mountain monardella or mountain pennyroyal) is a perennial flowering plant which grows in mountain forests and sagebrush scrub. It is a member of the Lamiaceae, or mint family. It has the minty odor characteristic of this family. Monardella odoratissima is found in montane forests above 600 m. and below 3100 m. It is found in many Northern California mountain ranges, including the Klamath Mountains and the North California Coast Ranges, the Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada, the Modoc Plateau, White Mountains and Inyo Mountains. It is found outside California, as far north as Washington, and in Nevada and Utah. Monardella odoratissima is an upright to sprawling perennial herb which can be woody at the base. It ranges from 30 centimeters to one meter-3 feet in height and equally wide.
The plant can be either a smooth dark green or a hairy dark grey-green, with many gradations in between. It is often dotted with glands which release a strongly minty odor when the plant is touched. The leaves can lance-shaped to ovate, and are smooth-edged. The flowers range in color from white and pale pink to light bluish-purple. These bracts can be hairy or smooth, and sometimes have a rose or purplish color. The calyx, which is inside these bracts, is hairy and has 5 lobes. The corolla is tubular and has two lips.
Monardella odoratissima is easy to grow as a garden plant. Although the Monardellas are in the mint family, most Monardellas do not grow from runners. However, they can still be propagated easily from cuttings. They are very attractive to butterflies, which are their main pollinator. Monardella odoratissima will grow in full sun to medium shade. It can be pruned lightly in the late fall or early winter to create a bushier plant, as they can otherwise be sprawling. They bloom profusely anytime from April through August. Because they are floriferous, they look best when spent blooms are deadheaded. (Wikipedia) Photo Credit: Orchid Black CC by SA 2.5.