The Mint Family

Formerly called  the Labiatae Family, the mints include over 235 genera with over 7,000 species. Traditionally, it has been an important family because many of the plants are used as herbs for flavor, fragrance or medicinal applications. A key trait shared by most of the members of the family is the square shaped stems.

The genus, Thymus, has about 350 species while Lamium consists of 40 to 50 species and Phlomis has over 100.

Bugleweed Oregano
Horehound Beefsteak Plant
Cat Mint Russian Sage
Gloryflower Obedient Plant
Creeping Charlie Self Heal
Chinese Hat Plant Horsemint
Dead Nettle Salvia or Sage
Lavender Winter Savory
Motherwort Skullcap
Horehound Lamb's Ears
Bastard Balm Germander
Mint Coleus
Beebalm  Thyme
Catmint White Button Bush

Note on Taxonomy - Plant taxonomy is the art and science of classifying plants into groupings in order to help people make sense of the huge diversity found in the world. The people who do this for a living are called taxonomists. They are continually evaluating and re-evaluating how plants are classified. For example, with the recent emergence of DNA analysis, many plants have been changing classification.

Also, there is no one, single universal classification system for plants. Rather, there is a lot of debate among taxonomists which may lead to confusion for the average gardener. That is why, in these family listings, you often see the words "about" or "around" when counting the number of genera or species to include. It is also why new families are created and some of the old ones suddenly fade away. So, don't be surprised if you find slightly different information at other sites or sources. Oh, well.


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