Family: Lamiaceae; Labiatae
Common name: mint family [Zomlefer, pp. 265-270]
Diversity: Worldwide: 200 genera; 3,000 species
U.S.: 50 genera
PNW (Hitchcock & Cronquist): 24 genera
Flower -- Vegetative Features -- Economic Importance -- Flower Images-- Web Sites

K(5) Co(5) S2, 2+2 P(2)
Sexuality: bisexual
Symmetry: zygomorphic
Inflorescence: raceme or cyme, in whorls or leaf axils
Calyx (sepals): 5, united, sometimes bilabiate (two lips)
Corolla (petals): 5, fused into a tube, bilabiate (2 petals upper/3 lower)
Androecium: 2 or 4 didynamous (=in two, paired lengths), epipetalous
Gynoecium: 2 united carpels, superior ovary (=hypogynous), 4 lobed ovary with two locules, single style arising from between the ovary lobes (gynobasic), axile placentation, 4 ovules
Fruit: 4 nutlets
Other features: fleshy nectar disc at ovary base, some have gynodioecy
(both females and hermaphrodites in the population)

Vegetative Features
aromatic ("minty"), four-sided (square) stem
Leaves: opposite or whorled, simple, often serrate (toothed) margin, exstipulate,
often hairy with oil secreting glands
Life-history: annual to perennial
Habit: herbs, rarely shrubs or trees
Distribution & Ecology: cosmopolitan
diversity centered in the Mediterranean
Some Northwest Genera: Lycopus, bugleweed
Mentha, mint
Prunella, self-heal
Scutellaria, skull-cap
Stachys, hedge-nettle

Economic Importance
Crops: aromatic herbs for cooking
Mentha, mint
Ocinum, basil
Origanum, oregano
Pogostemon, patchouli
Rosmarinus, rosemary
Salvia, sage
Thymus, thyme
Ornamentals: many garden ornamentals
Coleus, (common houseplant)
Weedy and pest species: Lamium, dead-nettle
Prunella, self-heal

Examples Labiatae Ajuga
Labiatae Mentha
Labiatae Prunella
Labiatae Satureja
Labiatae Scutellaria
click on the genus name for a flower image

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