Edited by Ho Dinh Hai Long An - Vietnam Updated: 02/10/2015
1- Introduction to the Family Lamiaceae - The Mint Family
1.1- Overview The Lamiaceae or Labiatae (the mint or deadnettle family) are a family of flowering plants. They have traditionally been considered closely related to Verbenaceae, but in the 1990s, phylogeneticstudies suggested that many generaclassified in Verbenaceae belong instead in Lamiaceae. The currently accepted version of Verbenaceae may not be more closely related to Lamiaceae than some of the other families in the orderLamiales. It is not yet known which of the families in Lamiales is closest to Lamiaceae. The plants are frequently aromatic in all parts and include many widely used culinary herbs, such as basil, mint, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, hyssop, thyme, lavender, and perilla. Some are shrubs, trees (such as teak), or, rarely, vines. Many members of the family are widely cultivated, owing not only to their aromatic qualities but also their ease of cultivation: these plants are among the easiest plants to propagate by stem cuttings. Besides those grown for their edible leaves, some are grown for decorative foliage, such as coleus. 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 original family name is Labiatae, so given because the flowers typically have petals fused into an upper lip and a lower lip (labia in Latin). The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical with 5 united petals, 5 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 (called decussate) or whorled. The stems are frequently square in cross section, but this is not found in all members of the family, and is sometimes found in other plant families.
1.2- Subfamilies of Lamiaceae In 2004, Lamiaceae were divided into seven subfamilies. The subfamilies are: 1- Ajugoideae Kosteletzky 2- Lamioideae Harley 3- Nepetoideae Kosteletzky 4- Prostantheroideae Luersson 5- Scutellarioideae Caruel 6- Symphorematoideae Briquet 7- Viticoideae Briquet
2- Taxonomy of the Family Lamia Wight. (Synonym = Labiatae)