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Family Lamiaceae

Synonyms: Chloanthaceae APNI*

Description: Trees, shrubs or usually perennial or annual herbs, usually aromatic, mostly with 4-angled branches.

Leaves opposite, mostly decussate or sometimes whorled, usually simple; stipules absent.

Inflorescence cymose, with flowers often axillary or in the axils of leaf-like bracts, often in whorl-like clusters or reduced to single flowers. Flowers with at least the corolla zygomorphic and usually 2-lipped, bisexual, 5-merous. Sepals 5, more or less fused, persistent in fruit. Petals 5, more or less fused into a tube, 2-lipped or 5-lobed. Stamens 4, fused to corolla tube, often with only 2 fertile; anthers 2- or rarely 1-locular, dehiscence introrse by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior of 2 fused carpels, 4-locular, usually 4-lobed; style gynobasic or appearing so because base of style surrounded by enlarged lobes of the ovary.

Fruit a schizocarp with four 1-seeded mericarp or drupaceous, often with pyrenes.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 236 genera, c. 7173 species, almost cosmopolitan, but absent from the coldest regions of high latitude and altitude. Australia: 44 genera, c. 750 species, all States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Lamiaceae, Order: Lamiales)

The Australian representatives of this family are currently under revision. This family includes many culinary herbs which have been introduced to Australia, such as Melissa (lemon balm), Mentha (mint), Lavandula (lavender), Origanum (marjoram), Rosmarinus (rosemary) and Thymus (thyme). These genera are also cultivated as ornamental plants, together with species from the following introduced genera: Leonotis, Monarda, Nepeta (cat mint), Phlomis, Plectranthus (including Coleus) and Stachys. Of the Australian endemic genera, Prostanthera and Westringia, and to a lesser extent Hemiandra, Hemigenia and Microcorys, are frequently grown as ornamentals. In Australia, the following genera were previously classified in the Verbenaceae: Callicarpa, Clerodendrum, Oncinocalyx, Phyla, Premna, and Vitex. They are now included in the Lamiaceae.

Text by B. J. Conn (2007)
Taxon concept: B.J. Conn (1992)

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Chloanthes,    Dicrastylis,    Glechoma,    Physostegia,    Sideritis

 Key to the genera 
1Fruit dry2
Fruit more or less fleshy26
2Calyx 2-lipped; lips sometimes toothed3
Calyx 5–10-toothed, not divided into two lips
                       Back to 1
3Calyx with upper lip emarginate to undivided4
Calyx with upper lip deeply 3-lobed or truncate with 3 sharp, almost obsolete teeth-like lobes
                       Back to 2
4Calyx with lower lip emarginate or undivided5
Calyx with lower lip deeply 4-toothed
                       Back to 3
5Perennial herb; upper calyx lip with a hollow prominent swellingScutellaria
Woody subshrub to tree; upper calyx lip without a prominent swelling
                       Back to 4
6Stamens free, distinctly exceeding the corolla; stigma capitate-clavate; corolla tube always straight and narrowOrthosiphon
Stamens joined basally, included within lower corolla lip; stigma shortly 2-fid; corolla tube usually more or less bent and often swollen basally
                       Back to 4
7Fertile stamens 2; anthers with loculi separated by an elongated connective, 1 loculus more or less sterileSalvia
Fertile stamens 4; anthers 2- or 1-locular; connective not elongated
                       Back to 3
8Flowers sessile, in short dense terminal spike-like inflorescencesPrunella
Flowers distinctly pedicellate, in open terminal or axillary racemose inflorescences
                       Back to 7
9Flowers subtended by spinose leaf-like bractsDracocephalum
Flowers subtended by entire leaf-like bracts, not spine-tipped
                       Back to 8
10Corolla more or less equally 4-lobed to indistinctly 2-lipped11
Corolla distinctly 1- or 2-lipped
                       Back to 2
11Flowers in compact, thyrse-like inflorescences, with overlapping mauve bracts more or less covering the sessile 3-flowered cymes; strongly aromaticLavandula
Flowers in axillary cymose whorls, in the axils of leaf-like bracts or solitary in leaf axils; bracts not overlapping
                       Back to 10
12Stamens 4; leaves mostly soft, with margins entire or variously toothed, but never sharply toothedMentha
Stamens 2; staminodes 2; leaves stiff, with margins sharply toothed
                       Back to 11
13Corolla 1-lipped14
Corolla 2-lipped
                       Back to 10
14Calyx lobes thread-like (subulate) and apex hookedOncinocalyx
Calyx lobes broad, not thread-like and apex more or straight, not hooked
                       Back to 13
15Corolla white; upper lip slit so that the lower lip appears 5-lobed; leaves caulineTeucrium
Corolla blue to purple, rarely pinkish to white; upper lip inconspicuous; lower lip 3-lobed; leaves mainly in a basal rosette
                       Back to 14
16Leaves in whorls of 3–517
Leaves opposite
                       Back to 13
17Upper stamens with connective elongated, terminated by dilated and bearded endHemigenia
Upper stamens with connective not or only very shortly elongated, not dilated or bearded
                       Back to 16
18Calyx 8–10-toothed19
Calyx 5-toothed, sometimes only minutely toothed
                       Back to 16
19Leaves narrow-elliptic, green, sparsely hairy; corolla orange, 30–55 mm long; shrub to 3 m highLeonotis
Leaves rhombic, ovate to circular, white-tomentose; corolla white, 6–12 mm long; herb to 1 m high, sometimes woody at base
                       Back to 18
20Calyx expanded and bonnet-like, much longer than corolla; teeth minuteMoluccella
Calyx not expanded, shorter or as long as corolla; teeth well-developed
                       Back to 18
21Corolla with upper lip broad-oblong, flat, erect, 2-lobed, not hooded22
Corolla with upper lip hooded
                       Back to 20
22Leaves with margins entire or often shallowly toothed; petiole to 0.6 cm long; flowers in spreading head-like clustersOriganum
Leaves with margins crenate to lobed; petiole 0.5–2.5 cm long; flowers in obloid raceme-like clusters
                       Back to 21
23Leaves deeply lobed (more or less palmatifid to palmatisect or dissected with linear incised segments)Leonurus
Leaves entire or finely to coarsely crenate and/or lobed
                       Back to 21
24Upper leaves sessile, stem-clasping, subtending and embracing the flowers, more or less equal to lower petiolate leavesLamium
Upper leaves subtending flowers petiolate, not embracing the flowers, noticeably reduced in size
                       Back to 23
25Annual herb to 0.4 m high; inflorescence mostly 3-flowered per bract or leaf axil; calyx 5–7 mm longStachys
Perennial herb to 2 m high; inflorescence usually more than 12-flowered per leaf axil; calyx 7–13 mm long
                       Back to 24
26Corolla actinomorphic, not 2-lipped, 2–3 mm long; stamens 4, equal; fruit less than 4 mm diam., usually bright purple when ripeCallicarpa
Corolla zygomorphic, more or less 2-lipped or one lobe much larger than other lobes, more than 4 mm long; stamens 4, more or less didynamous; fruit more than 4 mm diam., often black, bluish or red, sometimes purplish but then dull
                       Back to 1
27Fruit black and usually surrounded by the conspicuously enlarged reddish calyx28
Fruit blue to purple, pink to reddish or if black then leaves usually 3- or 5-foliolate; fruiting calyx unchanged, not reddish
                       Back to 26
28Corolla blue, with lower lobe much longer than other 4 lobesRotheca
Corolla white, lobe more or less equal
                       Back to 27
29Fruit more than 15 mm diam., bluish purple; leaves with lamina more than 10 cm long and more than 5 cm wide; corolla more than 20 mm long; widespread rainforest treeGmelina
Fruit less than 15 mm diam., blue to black or reddish purple; leaves or leaflets with lamina less than 10 cm long and less than 5 cm wide; corolla less than 15 mm long; in rainforest and coastal communities north from the Richmond River
                       Back to 27
30Corolla usually 4-lobed, mostly straight; calyx truncate, without lobes or with small teeth; leaves simplePremna
Corolla usually 5-lobed, often markedly curved; calyx 5-toothed or 5-cleft, rarely 3-cleft; leaves mostly palmately compound with 3 or 5 leaflets
                       Back to 29

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