Let’s learn the easiest ways to identify members of the mint, or Lamiaceae, family – a culinary favorite!
Peppermint, lavender, oregano, basil, rosemary, and thyme are some of the superstars in this group of strong-scented, drought-tolerant plants. Their common features make it almost effortless to determine who their relatives are.
- Leaves are opposite from each other on the stem and are usually in pairs.
- Flowers are often small, found in clusters and bilaterally symmetrical, meaning if you draw a line through the flower from top to bottom, the flower shape would be the same on both sides of the line.
- Stems are perhaps the most notable characteristic of the mint family as they are visibly square-shaped. Although plants in other families carry this trait, they’re usually not paired with the strong aromatic quality of mint family plants.
Find a plant with all of these characteristics, and you’ve likely found a member of the mint family!