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LAMIACEAE (Labiatae) MINT FAMILY

Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera

Annual to shrub [tree, vine], glabrous to hairy, generally aromatic. Stem: generally erect, generally 4-angled. Leaf: generally simple to deeply lobed, generally opposite, generally gland-dotted. Inflorescence: generally cymes, generally many in dense axillary clusters surrounding stem, generally separated by evident internodes or collectively crowded, spike- or panicle-like, occasionally head-like or raceme, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers sessile or pedicelled. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx generally 5-lobed, radial to bilateral; corolla generally bilateral, 1–2-lipped, upper lip entire or 2-lobed, ± flat to hood-like, occasionally 0, lower lip generally 3-lobed; stamens generally 4, epipetalous, generally exserted, paired, pairs generally unequal, occasionally 2, staminodes 2 or 0; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed to base chambers 2, ovules 2 per chamber, style 1, generally arising from center at junction of lobes, stigmas generally 2. Fruit: generally 4 nutlets, generally ovoid to oblong, smooth.
± 230 genera, 7200 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for herbs, oils (Lavandula, lavender; Mentha, mint; Rosmarinus, rosemary; Thymus, thyme), some cultivated as ornamental (in California Cedronella, Leonotis, Monarda, Phlomis). [Harley et al. 2004 Fam Generally Vasc Plant 7:167–275] Moluccella laevis L., shell flower, historical waif in California. Satureja calamintha (L.) Scheele subsp. ascendens (Jordan) Briq. reported as alien but not naturalized. Salazaria moved to Scutellaria; California Hyptis moved to Condea, California Satureja moved to Clinopodium. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Lamiaceae

MELISSA

John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken

Perennial herb. Stem: erect, simple to branched. Leaf: petioled; blade oblong to ovate, crenate to serrate. Inflorescence: ± open, in axils of distal leaves, short-bracted. Flower: calyx 2-lipped, upper lip > lower, 3-lobed, lower 2-lobed; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip ± entire, hood-like, erect or reflexed, lower lip 3-lobed, tube > calyx, curved upward; stamens 4, fertile, pairs ± equal, included under upper lip; style lobes unequal. Fruit: ovoid, smooth.
3 species: Europe, western Asia. (Greek: bee) [Wagstaff et al. 1998 Plant Syst Evol 209:265–274]

M. officinalis L. LEMON BALM
NATURALIZED
Stem: branched, 2–15 dm, finely glandular hairy. Leaf: blade 2–14 cm, 1.5–7 cm wide, ovate, crenate. Inflorescence: flowers 4–12; subtending leaves reduced distally on stem; pedicels 2–5 mm. Flower: calyx 7–9 mm, tube ribbed, long-soft-hairy; corolla 8–15 mm, white to cream, occasionally tinged lavender.
Moist sites, meadows, fields; < 800 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range Foothills, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Central Western California; native to southern Europe. Jun–Sep [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 21 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Melissa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=33161, accessed on Oct 21 2014

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click for enlargement Melissa officinalis
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2001 Tony Morosco

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Melissa officinalis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.