Global Range: As implied by the specific epithet, Monarda maritima occurs in areas along the Gulf of Mexico, mostly on Pleistocene and modern barrier islands. It is apparently a regional endemic of the Coastal Bend area of South Texas, ranging from Aransas and Refugio counties south through San Patricio to Kleberg County (Jones, 1977; Turner, 1994). No records from Nueces County have come to light, but the species should be expected on the Flour Bluff Peninsula in that intervening county. Correll & Johnston (1970) mentioned a disjunct occurrence in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Comments: Due to inconsistency in recognition of the taxon, the abundance of Monarda maritima within its known range is difficult to discern. Few specimens were found in major Texas herbaria in the winter of 1999, but some material may have gone undetected within folders of Monarda punctata. At TEX-LL, all material was on loan. Monarda maritima was described by Jones (1977) as frequent from the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge south to Ingleside, i.e., on the Live Oak and Blackjack peninsulas in Aransas and San Patricio counties, but its status to the south is unclear. Given these information gaps, only an estimated guess at the global numbers of occurrences can be offered. At present it seems likely that fewer than 100 occurrences can be expected.
Reasons: Monarda maritima is a poorly understood and unstudied regional endemic known from four or five counties in the Coastal Bend of South Texas. It is likely to have less than 100 occurrences. Threatened in general by suburban and recreational development in the northern part of its range.
Comments: Specific threats to this species are unknown pending field research. Many plant taxa of the barrier face generic threats from suburban and recreational development. Such threats are probably absent from the southern portion of the range (Kleberg County).