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Species Spotlight: The Attractively Bright, Mysterious Hall’s Monardella

Sep 27, 2023 | MSHCP, Species

It’s bright red, tubular, and fragrant – we’re looking at the Hall’s monardella (Monardella macrantha ssp. hallii) for this month’s Species Spotlight. Hall’s monardella is a rare plant species endemic to western Riverside County, found on dry slopes and ridges in upland forests, woodlands, and grasslands. Most information known for Hall’s monardella stems from scientific species-specific studies.

Hall’s monardella belongs to the Mint family –known for their strong fragrance– and can be identified by its vibrant red color and tube-shaped flower. This perennial herb typically grows one to two feet in height and resembles another bright native plant, California fuchsia. Still, unlike the hanging flowers found on the California fuchsia, those on Hall’s monardella stand upright and can contain 10 to 20 flower clusters per stem.

This plant showcases its vibrant blooms from June through August. Its parent species has also been referred to as Hummingbird Monardella, which implies that this species provides a valuable supply of nectar for hummingbirds or various pollinators. As a nectar producer, Hall’s monardella not only provides a source of food for hummingbirds but also plays a significant role in maintaining biodiversity, allowing pollen transfer between plants, stimulating the process of cross-pollination through hummingbirds, bees, and various butterflies.

The RCA ensures habitat protection for Hall’s monardella and the 145 other covered native species throughout Western Riverside County. Fire suppression and recreational activities pose potential threats for damage to this particular species. The MSHCP has identified approximately 224,860 acres of land in suitable habitat for this species within chaparral, grassland, montane coniferous forest, and woodlands and forest to be conserved.

Are you curious to see this species firsthand? You may come across Hall’s monardella at Cahuilla Mountain, southwest of Pine Cove in the San Jacinto Mountains, the Agua Tibia Mountains, and Santiago Peak in the San Jacinto Mountains.