Clinopodium ashei

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Clinopodium ashei
Calamintha ashei Kaitlin Griffith 3.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae ⁄ Labiatae
Genus: Clinopodium
Species: C. ashei
Binomial name
Clinopodium ashei
(Weath.) Shinners
Dist CALA ASHE.jpg
Natural range of Clinopodium ashei from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Ashe's calamint; Ashe's savory; Ohoopee Dunes wild basil

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Calamintha ashei (Weatherby) Shinners; Satureja ashei Weatherby.[1]


C. ashei is a perennial, aromatic shrub with linear leaves arranged in opposite clusters.[2] [3] The bisexual flowers are pinkish-purple.[3][4]


C. ashei is endemic to the Florida central highlands and southeastern Georgia.[3][5]



C. ashei occurs in pine-oak scrub ridges, and in Ceratiola scrubs.[3][5] It thrives in open areas of pine scrubs and disturbed sites such as abandoned fields, roadsides, and fire lanes.[3][6]

In order to reduce competition, C. ashei releases allelopathic compounds that prevent germination of other species' seeds, creating un-vegetated patches of sand.[7]

Associated species include Osmanthus megacarpus, Ilex cumulicola and, Ceratiola ericoides.[5]


Flowers and fruits have been observed January through June.[5]

Fire ecology

Fire has been observed to kill all adult C. ashei individuals.[8] Seedling frequency increases around ten months post-fire, with seedling probably established from seeds stored in a seed bank due to the absence of adult individuals.[8]


Calamintha ashei has been observed at the Archbold Biological Station to be visited by bees from the Apidae family such as Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens, Epeolus erigeronis and E. zonatus, sweat bees from the Halictidae family such as Agapostemon splendens, Augochlorella aurata, Augochloropsis sumptuosa, Halictus poeyi, Lasioglossum nymphalis and L. puteulanum, and leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family such as Anthidiellum notatum rufomaculatum, A.perplexum, Coelioxys germana, Hoplitis truncata, Lithurgus gibbosus, Megachile brevis pseudobrevis, M. campanulae, M. exilis parexilis, M. georgica, M. inimica, M. mendica, M. petulans, M. policaris, M. rugifrons, M. texana and Osmia calaminthae.[9] Additionally, this species has been observed to be visited by bees from the Apidae family such as Melissodes communis and Nomada fervida, as well as leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family such as Anthidiellum perplexum, Coelioxys sayi, Dianthidium floridiense, Megachile albitarsis, M. exilis, M. mendica and M. pruina.[10]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Controlled burning is important for management of C. ashei. It is also important to open the canopy and expose bare sand using methods such as clear cutting and root raking.[3]

Global rank: G3

Florida: S3[6]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. [USDA Plants] Accessed December 3, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 [NatureServe]Accessed December 3, 2015
  4. [Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center]Accessed: December 3, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: John R. Bozeman, D. Burch, Buswell, L.J. Brass, Chas. C. Deam, R.K. Godfrey, O. Lakela, Sidney McDaniel, Elmer C. Prichard, D.B. Ward. States and Counties: Florida: Highlands, Marion, Polk, Volusia. Georgia: Tattnall. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  6. 6.0 6.1 [Center for Plant Conservation] Accessed December 3, 2015
  7. [Georgia Wildlife] Accessed: December 3, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 Carrington, M. E. (1999). "Post-fire seedling establishment in Florida sand pine scrub." Journal of Vegetation Science 10(3): 403-412.
  9. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  10. [1]