FAMILY OF THE WEEK : LAMIACEAE (LABIATAE) MINT FAMILY
Leea (Dinda)FAMILY OF THE WEEK : LAMIACEAE (LABIATAE) MINT FAMILY
large family.The Mediterranean region is the chief centre of
distribution. In India 64 genera and 380 species occurring chiefly in
dry areas and moderate altitudes. The two chief centres of distribution
are south India and North western India.The familiar examples include
Mentha, Holy basil and Sage.Vegetative characters:
Mostly annual or perennial herbs, sometimes shrubs or rarely small trees.
The stems of herbaceous species are often quadrangular.
The leaves are opposite bor sometimes whorled, exstipulate,simple and the blade is from entire to finely multisect as in Salvia.
They are abundantly loaded with epidermal glands secreting volatile aromatic oils which impart characteristic odour.Inflorescence and flowers:
inflorescence is usually a dichasial cyme which often becomes cincinal
in its later branching.These cymes occur at the leaf axil and often
form a whorl of flowers at each node. This type of inflorescence is
often called as verticillaster. Each flower is subtendede by a bract
and a pair of bracteoles.
are perfect, hermaphrodite,zygomorphic and hypogynous.
is persistent and composed of five sepals which show various degree of union.
gamopetallous and is differentiated into a tube and a limb. The tube is
straight or bent and often widens upwards. The limb is usually two
are usually four,didynamous and are inserted on the corolla tube.
is bicarpellary and syncarpous. The ovary is superior,deeply four lobed,bilocular.The stigma is usually bifid.
A hypogynous disc is present at the base of the ovary. It is usually four-lobed.
The fruit is of four one seeded nutlets enclosed by the persistent calyx.Pollination
The bright coloured flowers with nectar secreting disc are adapted for
insect pollination. They are mostly visited by moths and butterflies.Examples
Lamiaceae are chiefly valuable as a source of volatile essential oils
which are used for flavouring, for perfumery and for medicine and some
(Basil)Several species yield oils.Ocimum sanctum
(Holy Basil, Tulsi)Ocimum americanum Ocimum canum
(Shrubby basil)Ocimum basilicum
(Sweet basil, Kali Tulas)Ocimum kilimandscharicum
is a rich source of camphor.
Mentha. Several species are useful for essential oils.Mentha pepperminta
:Source of peppermint oil.Mentha pulegiumLavandula
:source of lavender oil.
Pogostemon Plectranthus Thymus Salvia
Coleus : Herbs with variously coloured, variegated and showy foliage.