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If you see a plant with a distinctly square stalk, opposite leaves, and aromatic scent, you have most likely found a member of the mint family.
Monardella villosa is a shrub in the Lamiaceae (Mint) family known by the common name Coyote Mint. This is a perennial herb that forms small puffs of flowers that look like a tangled matt of lavender hairs. The potent, minty-cool fragrance is one of the best features of this plant. Native Americans used the leaves to make tea and as medicine for stomach aches.
Coyote Mint is a native of the West and can be found east of the Cascade summit in Washington and Oregon. It may be found eastward to northern Idaho and Colorado and New Mexico, and south to southern California.
Coyote Mint grows on dry rocky slopes from the plains to medium elevation in the mountains. It attracts a variety of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant and is a must for native gardens.
This charming little monardella villosa was photographed in our own native garden.
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