Pussy Toes

Twenty Lakes Basin, Hoover Wilderness, California, July 2016

  • Monardella odoratissima Benth.
  • Alpine mountainbalm, Coyote mint, Mountain monardella, Mountain pennyroyal
  • Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
  • Synonym(s):
  • USDA Symbol: MOOD
  • USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Alpine mountain balm or coyote mint is a variable species with many subspecies across its range. A grayish, aromatic plant with erect, bunched, leafy stems bearing opposite leaves and topped by small, whitish to pale purple or pink flowers in a dense head. In general, its stems form large mats about 1 ft. high. In bloom, these are covered with flower heads, ranging in color from near white to bright blue-purple. The paired leaves are highly fragrant.

Coyote Mint has many races in the West, varying in density of foliage hairs, breadth of heads, and relative length of bracts and calyx.


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