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Mint Family

Biology Of Mints

Most species in the mint family are annuals or herb-like perennials, and a few species are shrubs. Most species of mints have aromatic glands and hairs on their stems and foliage, and when the leaves are crushed strongly scented vapors are released. The stems of mints are commonly four-sided in cross section, and most species have oppositely arranged leaves.

The flowers of mints are bilaterally symmetric. Because they are mostly pollinated by insects, mints have relatively brightly colored, nectar-rich flowers usually grouped into a larger inflorescence The lower, fused petals of the flower provide a platform for pollinators to land on called a lip (or in Latin, labia, from which the family name Labiatae is derived). Most species in the mint family have bisexual flowers, containing both male (staminate) and female (pistilate) organs. The fruits are small, one-seeded nutlets.

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