The old Latin name for the Mint Family was Labiatae.
About 3200 species of mint are known, occurring mainly in the northern temperate zones. Many are perennials; some are annuals, and a few are shrubs.
Plant Description: The Mint Family is one of the easiest families to recognize: Nearly all members have square stems, opposite leaves that are dotted with glands that secrete oils with a strong scents, and bi-lobed flowers. The flowers are in whorls along the stem, often at the axils of the leaves and/or with a cluster of flowers at the top.
Flower Description: The two-petals of the upper lip are often fused and arched, thus appearing to be one petal and forming a hood. The three lobes of the lower lip are unequal in size with the middle lobe larger. Both sepals and petals are tubular.
Note: The various flower structures of the mints force selected insects to come in contact with the four stamens and the forked pistil.
Economic members: Various aromatic oils and culinary herbs such as mint, oregano, rosemary, basil, sage, marjoram, thyme and savory
Ornamental members: Ajuga, Lavender, Salvia, Coleus, Creeping Charley, and Catnip.
This site features 9 species of the Mint Family
Click on the photo to see an enlarged photo. Use arrows to cycle through the photos. Click on x-box or the background to go back to the Family Page.
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