Common Name: MINT FAMILY
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 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). Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Habit: Annual to shrub. Leaf: entire to lobed or toothed, generally not spine-tipped. Inflorescence: clusters generally many-flowered, generally head-like, generally +- spheric, generally involucred, generally surrounding nodes in generally +- spike-like, generally interrupted panicles, or flowers 1--several per leaf axil. Flower: calyx generally 2-lipped, upper lip entire or of 3 generally shallow, occasionally spine-tipped lobes, lower lip generally of 2 generally spine-tipped lobes; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip 2-lobed to entire, lower lip with 3 spreading lobes, middle lobe generally expanded; fertile stamens 2, attached in throat, anther sacs 1--2 per stamen, if 2 then separate on thread-like structure with 1 fertile, > other; style forked at tip.
Species In Genus: +- 900 species: +- worldwide, especially tropics, subtropical America. Etymology: (Latin: to save, from medicinal use) Note: Polyphyletic (taxonomic revision needed); California natives in monophyletic sect. Audibertia. All species good bee fodder; seeds edible, a traditional food of native Californians. Historical waifs, Salvia microphylla Kunth last collected in California in 1943, Salvia verbenacea L. in 1936.
eFlora Treatment Author: Deborah Engle Averett
Habit: Shrub, spreading to mat-forming, 10--70 cm, densely white-scaly. Leaf: blade linear to spoon-shaped, +- entire. Inflorescence: clusters generally 12--30 mm wide; bracts 5--12(14) mm, +- round. Flower: calyx generally 6--11 mm, blue, purple, or rose, upper lip generally entire, rounded, lower lip lobes acute, not spine-tipped; corolla tube generally 6--13 mm, blue (purple to rose, or white), upper lip 2-lobed, 2--3 mm, < lower; stamens, style exserted. Fruit: 1.8--3.5 mm, gray to red-brown. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Note: Highly variable; varieties intergrade.