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Acanthomintha ilicifolia facts for kids

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Acanthomintha ilicifolia
San Diego thornmint
Conservation status

Threatened (ESA)
Scientific classification

Acanthomintha ilicifolia, known by the common name San Diego thornmint, is a rare species of flowering plant in the mint family. It is native to Baja California and San Diego County, California, where it is a resident of the chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities and vernal pools.

Acanthomintha ilicifolia has been extirpated from many of the sites where it was previously noted in San Diego County. It is a federally listed threatened species in the United States. This species is also listed as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act which means that killing or possessing the plants is prohibited within California unless authorized by the California Department of Fish and Game.


Acanthomintha ilicifolia is a petite annual herb growing up to about 15 centimeters in maximum height. It has rounded to oval serrated leaves up to 1.5 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a cluster of flowers with oval-shaped bracts nearly a centimeter long which are edged with long spines. Each flower is about a centimeter wide and white, often tinted purple to pink, with a hooded upper lip and a slightly longer lower lip.

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