San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

San Miguel savory
Clinopodium chandleri

Kingdom Phylum Subphylum Class Order Suborder Family

Current distribution rangewide

Occurs in Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego County, and Baja California, Mexico, at elevations between 120 and 1,005 m [1,2,3].

Known Populations in San Diego County

Very rare shrub in San Diego County (one of Southern California's rarest shrubs).Found on San Miguel Mountain, north of San Vicente Reservoir, and north of Padre Barona Creek with historic sightings from other areas [1]. Within MSPA, there are three occurrences on Conserved Lands [4]. In MU3, there are occurrences at Mount Miguel and in the Jamul Mountains while MU4 has a small occurrence at Boulder Oaks Preserve.

List status


Habitat affinities

Associated with rocky, gabbroic and metavolcanic substrates in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, cismontane woodland, riparian woodland, and valley and foothill grasslands [2,3]. In San Diego County, found on chamise dominated slopes on Los Posas stony fine sandy loams or San Miguel Exchequer rocky silt loam soils [1].

Taxonomy and genetics

Newly classified in the genus Clinopodium within the Lamiaceae family [5]. Previously placed in the genus Satureja, however molecular DNA evidence demonstrated this genus was not part of a monophyletic grouping.

Life history demography

Perennial shrub is branched and upper parts are pubescent (hairs short, white). Ranges in height from 2 to 5 dm [6].Flowers grow from the leaf axils in clusters of one to six and range in color from white to lavender. Two-lipped flowers are 4 to 7 mm long. Nutlets are shiny and dark brown, and 1.5 mm in diameter [7].

Seasonal phenology

Flowers from March through July [2,6].

Pollination seed dispersal

No information on pollinators or seed dispersal.


Threatened by agricultural conversion, urban development and recreational activities; may be threatened by horticultural collecting [3].

Special considerations:

No information.

San Miguel savory sources