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Mint family
Lamium purpureum jamestown1.jpg
Lamium purpureum L.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Martinov [1] [2]
Type genus

See text

Lamium purpureum, showing the bilaterally symmetrical flower Lamium purpureum Closeup.jpg
Lamium purpureum , showing the bilaterally symmetrical flower
Tetradenia riparia Tetradenia riparia 03.jpg
Tetradenia riparia

The Lamiaceae ( /ˌlmiˈsi,-/ LAY-mee-AY-see-e(y)e [3] ) or Labiatae are a family of flowering plants commonly known as the mint or deadnettle or sage family. Many of the plants are aromatic in all parts and include widely used culinary herbs like basil, mentha, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender, and perilla. Some species are shrubs, trees (such as teak), or, rarely, vines. Many members of the family are widely cultivated, not only for their aromatic qualities, but also their ease of cultivation, since they are readily propagated by stem cuttings.[ citation needed ] Besides those grown for their edible leaves, some are grown for decorative foliage. Others are grown for seed, such as Salvia hispanica (chia), or for their edible tubers, such as Plectranthus edulis , Plectranthus esculentus , Plectranthus rotundifolius , and Stachys affinis (Chinese artichoke).


The family has a cosmopolitan distribution. [4] The enlarged Lamiaceae contain about 236 genera [5] and have been stated to contain 6,900 [4] to 7,200 [5] species, but the World Checklist lists 7,534. [6] The largest genera are Salvia (900), Scutellaria (360), Stachys (300), Plectranthus (300), Hyptis (280), Teucrium (250), Vitex (250), Thymus (220), and Nepeta (200). [5] Clerodendrum was once a genus of over 400 species, [5] but by 2010, it had been narrowed to about 150. [7]

The family has traditionally been considered closely related to the Verbenaceae; [5] in the 1990s, phylogenetic studies suggested that many genera classified in the Verbenaceae should be classified in the Lamiaceae [8] [9] or to other families in the order Lamiales. [1]

Salvia jurisicii Salvia jurisicii in its native habitat.jpg
Salvia jurisicii

The alternative family name Labiatae refers to the fact that the flowers typically have petals fused into an upper lip and a lower lip (labia in Latin). The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical with five united petals and five united sepals. They are usually bisexual and verticillastrate (a flower cluster that looks like a whorl of flowers, but actually consists of two crowded clusters). Although this is still considered an acceptable alternative name, most botanists now use the name Lamiaceae in referring to this family. The leaves emerge oppositely, each pair at right angles to the previous one (decussate) or whorled. The stems are frequently square in cross section, [10] but this is not found in all members of the family, and is sometimes found in other plant families.


Leucas aspera in Hyderabad, India Leucas aspera at Gandipet, Hyderabad, AP W IMG 9054.jpg
Leucas aspera in Hyderabad, India
Orthosiphon thymiflorus flower Orthosiphon pallidus (Jyoti) in Talakona forest, AP W IMG 8284.jpg
Orthosiphon thymiflorus flower
Oregano Origanum vulgare - harilik pune.jpg

The last revision of the entire family was published in 2004. [5] It described and provided keys to 236 genera. These are marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below. A few genera have been established or resurrected since 2004. These are marked with a plus sign (+). Other genera have been synonymised. These are marked with a minus sign (-). The remaining genera in the list are mostly of historical interest only and are from a source that includes such genera without explanation. [11] Few of these are recognized in modern treatments of the family.

Kew Gardens provides a list of genera that includes additional information. [12] A list at the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website is frequently updated. [13]

Recent changes

The circumscription of several genera has changed since 2004. Tsoongia, Paravitex, and Viticipremna have been sunk into synonymy with Vitex. [14] Huxleya has been sunk into Volkameria. [7] Kalaharia, Volkameria, Ovieda, and Tetraclea have been segregated from a formerly polyphyletic Clerodendrum. [7] Rydingia has been separated from Leucas. [15] The remaining Leucas is paraphyletic over four other genera. [16]

Subfamilies and tribes

In 2004, the Lamiaceae were divided into seven subfamilies with 10 genera not placed in any of the subfamilies. [5] The unplaced genera are: Tectona , Callicarpa , Hymenopyramis , Petraeovitex , Peronema , Garrettia , Cymaria , Acrymia , Holocheila , and Ombrocharis . The subfamilies are the Symphorematoideae, Viticoideae, Ajugoideae, Prostantheroideae, Nepetoideae, Scutellarioideae, and Lamioideae. The subfamily Viticoideae is probably not monophyletic. [14] The Prostantheroideae and Nepetoideae are divided into tribes. These are shown in the phylogenetic tree below.


Most of the genera of Lamiaceae have never been sampled for DNA for molecular phylogenetic studies. Most of those that have been are included in the following phylogenetic tree. The phylogeny depicted below is based on seven different sources. [5] [9] [7] [14] [17] [18] [19]




Viticoideae  (pro parte) 



Viticoideae  (pro parte) 








































































Related Research Articles

Ericaceae The heather family of flowering plants

The Ericaceae are a family of flowering plants, commonly known as the heath or heather family, found most commonly in acid and infertile growing conditions. The family is large, with c. 4250 known species spread across 124 genera, making it the 14th most species-rich family of flowering plants. The many well-known and economically important members of the Ericaceae include the cranberry, blueberry, huckleberry, rhododendron, and various common heaths and heathers.

Lamiales Order of dicot flowering plants

The Lamiales are an order in the asterid group of dicotyledonous flowering plants. It includes about 23,810 species, 1,059 genera, and is divided into about 24 families. Well-known or economically important members of this order include lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, the ash tree, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, and a number of table herbs such as mint, basil, and rosemary.

Malvaceae Family of flowering plants

Malvaceae, or the mallows, is a family of flowering plants estimated to contain 244 genera with 4225 known species. Well-known members of economic importance include okra, cotton, cacao and durian. There are also some genera containing familiar ornamentals, such as Alcea (hollyhock), Malva (mallow) and Lavatera, as well as Tilia. The largest genera in terms of number of species include Hibiscus, Sterculia, Dombeya, Pavonia and Sida.

<i>Leonotis</i> genus of plants

Leonotis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. One species, Leonotis nepetifolia, is native to tropical Africa and southern India. It is naturalized throughout most of the tropics. The other species are endemic to southern + eastern Africa.

Hamamelidaceae Witch-hazel family, of shrubs and small trees, in the order Saxifragales

Hamamelidaceae, commonly referred to as the witch-hazel family, is a family of flowering plants in the order Saxifragales. The clade consists of shrubs and small trees positioned within the woody clade of the core Saxifragales. An earlier system, the Cronquist system, recognized Hamamelidaceae in the Hamamelidales order.

Verbenaceae Family of flowering plants comprising vervains

The Verbenaceae are a family — the verbena family or vervain family — of mainly tropical flowering plants. It contains trees, shrubs, and herbs notable for heads, spikes, or clusters of small flowers, many of which have an aromatic smell.

Gesneriaceae Family of flowering plants including saintpaulias

Gesneriaceae, the African violet family, is a family of flowering plants consisting of about 152 genera and ca. 3,540 species in the Old World and New World (Gesnerioideae) tropics and subtropics, with a very small number extending to temperate areas. Many species have colorful and showy flowers and are cultivated as ornamental plants.

Asphodelaceae family of plants

Asphodelaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Asparagales. Such a family has been recognized by most taxonomists, but the circumscription has varied widely. In its current circumscription in the APG IV system, it includes about 40 genera and 900 known species. The type genus is Asphodelus.

Boraginales Order of flowering plants within the lammiid clade of eudicots

Boraginales is a valid taxonomic name at the rank of order for a group of flowering plants. It includes Boraginaceae and closely related asterid families. The Boraginales include about 125 genera, 2,700 species and its herbs, shrubs, trees and lianas (vines) have a worldwide distribution.

<i>Clinopodium</i> genus of plants

Clinopodium is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. It is in the tribe Mentheae of the subfamily Nepetoideae, but little else can be said with certainty about its phylogenetic position.

<i>Vitex</i> Genus of flowering plants in the sage family Lamiaceae

Vitex is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. It has about 250 species. Common names include "chaste tree" or "chastetree", traditionally referring to V. agnus-castus but often applied to other species as well.

<i>Clerodendrum</i> genus of plants

Clerodendrum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Verbenaceae. Its common names include glorybower, bagflower and bleeding-heart. It is currently classified in the subfamily Ajugoideae, being one of several genera transferred from Verbenaceae to Lamiaceae in the 1990s, based on phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data.

<i>Oxera</i> genus of plants

Oxera is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae native to Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the western Pacific.

Ajugoideae Subfamily of flowering plants in the sage family Lamiaceae

Ajugoideae is subfamily of the family Lamiaceae. The subfamily name of Teucrioideae is a synonym of Ajugoideae.

<i>Clerodendrum quadriloculare</i> species of plant in the family Lamiaceae

Clerodendrum quadriloculare is a species of flowering plant native to New Guinea and the Philippines. It is one of many species previously included in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, but transferred to the Lamiaceae based on molecular studies.

<i>Rotheca</i> genus of plants

Rotheca is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. Estimates of the number of species in the genus vary from about 35 to as many as 60. Three of the species are native to tropical Asia, with the rest occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. The type species for the genus is Rotheca serrata. It had originally been named Rotheca ternifolia, but this name is now considered illegitimate.

<i>Vitex rotundifolia</i> species of plant

Vitex rotundifolia, the roundleaf chastetree or beach vitex is a species of Vitex that is native to seashores throughout the Pacific. Its range includes continents and islands stretching from India east to Hawaii and from Korea south to Australia. This woody perennial plant typically grows approximately 1 m in height. It has a sprawling growth habit and produces runners that root regularly at nodes. This rooting pattern allows the plant to spread rapidly. At maturity, V. rotundifolia produces blue-purple flowers that are borne in clusters and ultimately yield small brown-black fruits. Its leaves are rounded at the tips with green upper surfaces and silver lower surfaces. While the plant is a seashore obligate, it grows over a wide latitude range. It has been used for medicinal purposes throughout its native range. More recently, it was imported to the eastern United States where it has become a seashore invasive. Control efforts are presently underway to protect the fragile beach dune ecosystem.

Viticoideae Subfamily of flowering plants in the sage family Lamiaceae

Viticoideae is one of seven subfamilies in the sage family, Lamiaceae.

Nepetoideae Subfamily of flowering plants in the sage family Lamiaceae

Nepetoideae is a subfamily of plants in the family Lamiaceae.

Lamioideae Subfamily of flowering plants in the sage family Lamiaceae

Lamioideae is a subfamily of plants in the family Lamiaceae.


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