Asteridae: Lamiales. The Lamiaceae are mostly herbs or shrubs comprising about 200 genera and 3,200 species, commonly with aromatic, herbage, quadrangular stems, and verticillate inflorescences. The leaves are opposite or whorled, and are simple or occasionally pinnately compound; stipules are absent. The flowers are bisexual and zygomorphic. The calyx is synsepalous, typically 5-merous, sometimes 2-lipped, and usually has 5-15 conspicuous ribs. The corolla is sympetalous and typically bilabiate with 2 lobes forming an upper lip and 3 lobes forming a lower lip. The androecium consists of either 4 didynamous stamens or only two stamens that are adnate to the corolla tube or perigynous zone, alternate with the lobes. The gynoecium consists of a single compound ovary of 2 carpels, a single gynobasic style, and a deeply 4-lobed superior ovary with 4 apparent locules (by intrusion of the ovary wall), each with a single basal-axile ovule. A hypogynous, often asymmetric nectariferous disk is generally present between the stamens and ovary. The fruit consists of four 1-seeded nutlets that rarely may be fleshy and drupaceous.
Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.
|Salvia pratensis, sage. The flowers are in whorls or verticils. Notice the strongly 2-lipped or bilabiate corollas and calyces. In the lowermost flower the 2 stamens and 2 stigma lobes are clearly visible (upper photo). Glandular hairs on the herbage secrete volatile, aromatic oils. Note the quadrangular stem and the 4 developing nutlets of the exposed gynoecium (lower photo).|
|Plectranthus scutellarioides, coleus. The verticillate, zygomorphic, 2-lipped flowers and the quadrangular stem are good family characteristics. Two of the 4 nutlets that characterize the gynoecium are visible between the calyx lobes in the early fruiting stage seen just to the left of the open flower.|
|Mentha javanica, mint. Opposite leaves and whorls or verticils of flowers may be seen in this species.|
|Leonotis nepetifolia, cat's ear. Note the opposite leaves, square stem and verticillate-capitate flower clusters.|
|Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary.|
|Lepechinia hastata, pakaha. This Hawaiian plant has quadrangular stems, opposite leaves and zygomorphic flowers. Notice the ribbed calyx, bifid style, and didynamous stamens.|
|Stenogyne kaalae. Opposite leaves, quadrangular stems, bilabiate corolla, and synsepalous calyx with conspicuous ribs are all seen in this endemic Hawaiian genus.|
|Phyllostegia glabra, ulihi. This species in one of three endemic Hawaiian mint genera has features expected for the family, although the nutlets visible on the left are a bit fleshier than normal.|
Flowering Plant Family Access Page