Lamiaceae, also called Labiatae, is the mint
family of flowering plants.
The enlarged Lamiaceae family contains
about 239 genera and 6,900 to 7,200 species,
the largest family of the order Lamiales.
The family was established by De Jussieu in
1789 as the order Labiatae. The name
Labiatae alludes to the flowers typically
having petals fused into an upper and lower
lip, the flower thus having an open mouth!
Although Labiatae is an acceptable, alternate
name, botanists more often use Lamiaceae
after the genus Lamium.
The majority of the Family Lamiaceae are
annual or perennial herbs. The plants are
frequently aromatic in all parts and contain
volatile oils. The family includes many widely
used culinary herbs, such as basil, mint,
rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano,
thyme, lavender, and perilla. Some are
shrubs, trees, such as teak, or rarely, vines.
Philippine Diversity of the Family Lamiaceae
Internal and External Features
of the Taxa
Members of the family Lamiaceae are mostly
annual or perennial herbs or shrubs with opposite
leaves, when crushed the foliage usually emitting
various, mostly pleasant odors.
The stems are usually square, especially when
young, erect or procumbent (lying on the ground).
Life cycles of the herbaceous members may be
annular or perennial.
Stem of a member of
The leaves are opposite or whorled,
decussate and gland-dotted.
The leaves are often strongly aromatic due to
ethereal oils located in the glandular hairs.
The leaf blades are simple, rarely pinnately
lobed (Teucrium) or digitately compound
(Cedronella, Vitex), with entire or toothed
Flowers usually abundant and quite attractive,
with the sepals and corollas variously united.
Arranged in compact axillary cymes
(verticillasters) or are sometimes single in the
axils of the leaves. Sometimes the
inflorescences are congested as in
Usually zygomorphic, rarely actinomorphic.
Calyx 2-lipped or not and are usually
persistent with 5 teeth or lobes.
Corollas strongly 2-lipped (labiate, hence the
family name), rarely 1-lipped.
Stamens 2 or4(didynamous), epipetalous
Ovaries superior, deeply 4-lobed, rarely not,
with the style mostly arising from the middle of
the 4 lobes.
Fruit comprised of 4 nutlets, although some of
these are not maturing, each containing a
single seed. It may also be a drupe with 1-4
pyrenes, subtended by or enclosed within a
The outer surface of the nutlets may be
smooth or rugose (wrinkled). Occasionally the
nutlets are winged (Tinnea).
Number in parentheses
indicates number of genera.
The family is divided into several subfamilies and tribes of
which subfamily Nepetoideae has the most genera.
The largest genera are Salvia (900), Scutellaria (360),
Stachys (300), Plectranthus (300), Hyptis (280), Teucrium
(250), Vitex, (250) Thymus (220), and Nepeta (200).
The Lamiaceae is closely related to the family
Verbenaceae. Several recent, phylogenetic studies have
shown that some genera classified in Verbenaceae
belong, however, in Lamiaceae, for example, Vitex and
Salvia is the largest
genus of the family,
representing ± 1,000
remarkably in their
Flowers of Salvia officinalis
List of Genera
Acanthomintha· Achyrospermum· Acinos ·
Acrocephalus· Acrotome· Acrymia· Adelosa·
Aegiphila· Aeollanthus · Agastache· Ajuga·
Ajugoides· Alajja· Alvesia· Amasonia·
Amethystea· Anisochilus· Anisomeles·
Archboldia · Asterohyptis· Ballota
World and Philippine Diversity
of the Taxa
The family has a cosmopolitan
distribution.The main centre of diversity is the
Mediterranean region to central Asia.
Members are found in tropical and temperate
About 60 genera with ± 980 species occur in
the Sub-Saharan African region (Klopper et
al. 2006). In South Africa, there are ± 255
species in 35 genera. The species occur
predominantly in the summer rainfall areas,
but are also found in the winter rainfall areas.
The habitats vary to a great extent. The
species inhabit not only dry, often rocky,
woodland or grassland, but also occur along
forest margins and in fynbos.
Specimen and observational data for Lamiaceae
from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Network
P. cablin syn. P. patchouli
Native to Malaysia and the Philippines, Patchouli
is now cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical
regions around the world.
Patchouli has been used extensively in Asian
medicine, apperaring in the Chinese, Indian and
The oil is widely employed as a fragrance and, in
India, as an insect repellent. Patchouli is used in
herbal medicine in Asia as an aphrodisiac,
antidepressant and antiseptic.
It is also employed for headaches and fever.
Patchouli essential oil is used in aromatherapy
to treat skin complaints. It is thought to have a
regenerative effect on skin tone and to help clear
conditions such as eczema and acne. The oil
may also be used for varicose veins and
Native to the Philippines
Found in dipterocarp forests.
Native to the Philippines
Found in mossy forests