Family Lamiaceae: a brief description

Family Lamiaceae: a brief description
Family Lamiaceae: a brief description

Representatives of the vast Lamiaceae family, and earlier Lamiaceae, are ubiquitous on Earth - in the temperate latitudes of Europe, on the Asian continent, in the tropical and subtropical zones of Central and South America.

Lamiaceae family

Mediterranean countries, the mountainous regions of the American mainland and the plains of Eurasia are famous for a special variety of plants of the family, but in the Arctic tundra it is a rare success to meet a plant from the labiates. Let's learn more about the characteristic features of this wonderful family.

The most common types and their uses

The Lamiaceae family, rightfully considered the cosmopolitan of the plant kingdom, unites 221 genera and more than 6 thousand plant species. Most of them are wild, but representatives of 65 genera are used in ornamental gardening and even in industrial production. Many plants of the Lamiaceae family are valuable essential oil crops that have found application in cooking, medicine, food and perfume industries. These are plants such as lemon balm, mint, lavender, oregano, basil, thyme and many others.culture. Some representatives of the labia contain dyes.

family of yasnotkovye representatives

Different sources inform the reader about a different number of species of the family. We will not specify their number, we will only note that there are really a lot of varieties of these plants. But all of them are distinguished by amazing endurance and excellent ability to adapt to the proposed, often very harsh conditions. That is why they are common in temperate and tropical latitudes, that is, in areas with polar different climatic features.

Lamiaceae family: general characteristics

Most of the members of the family are herbaceous one-, two- or perennials, rarely shrubs and semi-shrubs. Tree-like forms (trees or creepers) are extremely rare, there are very few of them.

The family of Lamiaceae is distinguished by the shape of the stems - pronounced tetrahedral. Well-tangible edges in some species are slightly rounded, convex or, conversely, concave. Different species have different stems: erect or creeping, but all of them are able to root perfectly at the nodes.

The main root is often preserved throughout the life of a culture or dies off, being replaced by adventitious ones. Some representatives of the Lamiaceae form rhizomes, while others develop root offspring.

characteristic of the family yasnotkovye

Leaves entire or dissected, in some species noticeably pubescent. Stipules are absent. They are located on the shoots in pairs, opposite each other, each pairleaves is located cruciformly relative to the previous and subsequent pairs. The Lamiaceae family is also distinguished by the fact that most of its representatives contain essential oils in the leaves. That is why the leaves of the labiales have a strong smell.


The original name of the labial was obtained due to the external similarity of the flower with an open throat, framed by two lips - upper and lower. In some species, they are divided into several lobes. The flowers are small, five-membered, bisexual, rarely, along with bisexual flowers, only female flowers are found, and extremely rarely, only male ones. Their color is varied: pink, lilac-lilac, yellowish, white or variegated. They are formed in the axils of the leaves, ordinary or upper, changed and shaped like bracts. They are single, paired or collected in sparse inflorescences on short petioles. Each pair of inflorescences is in contact with subsequent flowers and forms a kind of false flower ring.

Lamiaceae family general characteristics

With close proximity of such rings in the apical part of the shoot, a beautiful false ear, brush or panicle is formed. The upper leaves of the shoot gradually decrease in size and take the form of bracts. Characteristic false ears can be observed in nettle, mint, catnip, lemon balm, etc.

Flower structure

The calyx is usually five-toothed, bell-shaped, joint-leaved, remaining even when the fruit is ripe. By the time the fruit ripens, it hardens, and the teeth become prickly. Occasionally, depending onspecies, calyx two-lipped. Corolla - a tube ending in various variations. The abundance of species gives rise to different forms of corollas. For example:

• Double lip. The upper lip is formed by 2 fused petals, and the lower lip by 3. The middle part of the lower lip is often double incised. Similar whisks for nettle, sage, pikulnik.

• One-lipped or half-lipped, for example, in a oak tree.

• Cropped (mint).

The usual number of stamens is 4, they are attached to the corolla tube, 2 of them are usually longer than the other two. They can be hidden under a concave upper lip or exposed if the corolla is cut off or not full-lipped. Some species have only 2 stamens. Some species are equipped with a short pistil that extends between the lobes of a 4- or 5-lobed ovary. For pollination, the Lamiaceae family uses a column, which is a stigma split in two. It attracts insects but prevents self-pollination. A pronounced owner of such a device is sage. Ripe fruit freely splits into 4 one-seeded nuts.

Lamiaceae family

It has been established that Lamiaceae with an undeveloped corolla and prominent stamens are distributed mainly in the east of Europe, in Asia, in the northern regions of Africa and America. Probably the distribution of pollinating insects is the same. This is a general characteristic of the Lamiaceae family, it remains only to find out the features of the formation of the fruits of these plants.


Fruit, the so-called coenobium, immersed in a cup, fractional, most often consists of fourchambers, evenly developed parts with nut-like seeds. With possible underdevelopment, the number of chambers may be less - 1 or 3. So, a fractional fruit is characteristic of the lamb, they, by definition, cannot have a fruit-box or berry.

Family Lamiaceae: representatives

The generosity of nature, which provided the diversity of genera and species united in this family, is amazing. It is to her that we owe the fact that these plants are known all over the world. Here is an incomplete list of the genera that make up the Lamiaceae family:

• agastache (Mexican hyssop);

• snakehead;

• pikulnik;

• Lavender;

• lavender;

• motherwort;

• melissa;

• mint;

• basil;

• oregano;

• railings.

In closing

All these, as well as representatives of various genera of the family not mentioned in the publication, are magnificent plants that have served mankind for many centuries.

plants of the mint family

It doesn't matter that some of them have been cultivated for a long time and bring considerable benefits, providing essential oils and rare dyes, while others are distributed exclusively in the wild, decorating taiga glades and mountainous slopes with their discreet beauty.

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