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Mint Family

Biology Of Mints, Native Mints Of North America, Economic Products Obtained From Mints, Mints As Ornamental Plants

The mint family (Labiatae or Lamiaceae) is a large group of dicotyledonous plants occurring worldwide in all types of climates except in extreme arctic and antarctic conditions. There are about 3,000 species in the mint family and 200 genera. The most diverse groups are the genus Salvia with 500 species, Hyptis with 350 species, and Scutellaria, Coleus, Plectranthus, and Stachys, each with 200 species.

Some species in the mint family are economically important and are grown as herbs used to flavor foods and beverages or for the production of essential oils that are used as fragrances in perfumery. Some species are also grown as showy or fragrant ornamentals in gardens.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum). JLM Visuals. Reproduced by permission.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Methane to Molecular clock