Plants are classified in many ways, one of the most popular being their family. Of all there are, Lamiaceae (better known as labiates) are one of the most extensive, comprising about 245 genera and about 7900 species distributed throughout the world, especially in temperate regions.
Faced with such a variety, it is easy to find herbs, whether perennial or annual, succulents, shrubs, vines and even trees, such as Tectona grandiswhich can reach up to 30 meters in height. But, what are their characteristics? Coming up next, we tell you.
Origin and characteristics
The labiates are distributed throughout all regions of the Earth, except the polar ones and the extreme deserts (Sahara, Gobi Desert). There are some species in the Mediterranean, as well as in Southwest Asia and, to a limited extent, in tropical forests as well.
They are characterized by having normally opposite leaves, simple, and whole or serrated. The inflorescences are grouped in cymes with seated or pedicellate flowershermaphroditic or sometimes female.
Best known genres
- Clerodendron: they are shrubs, lianas or trees up to 12 meters high originating in tropical Africa, southern Asia, tropical America and northern Australasia.
- nepeta: originating in Europe, Asia and Africa. They are perennials very similar to mint that reach a height of about 50cm.
- kratom: they are annual, biennial or perennial plants native to Central America, South America, Central and Eastern Asia and the Mediterranean basin. The species are known Sage officinalis y Sage flocks.
What uses do they have?
Apart from being able to be used as ornamental plants, many species have other uses:
- Medicinal: there are many that have antiseptic and healing properties, such as rosemary alcohol.
- Protein source: such as the seeds of the Spanish sageor chia.
- Potato substitute: as the species Plectranthus rotundifoliuscalled the money plant or Hausa potato. Its tubers are rich in sugars and proteins.
- Condiments and spices: because the lips are usually aromatic, there are many that are used to season food, such as Rosemary officinalis (romero), The basilisk (basil), Mentha (mint), Oregano vulgaris (oregano), Etc.
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