Mint Condition

 Let’s learn the easiest ways to identify members of the mint, or Lamiaceae, family – a culinary favorite!

Peppermintlavender, 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!

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Erin Conant
Erin Conant has a passion for all things related to plants. Our former SAWS conservation consultant is now at home with her family passionately establishing their own urban farm and spreading the word of water conservation.
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