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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Labiatae
Mentha

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 576 (1753).

Derivation: Latinised Greek name for mint.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Mints.

Description:
Perennial herbs with quadrangular branches, with simple hairs or rarely with branched ones as well and with sessile glands; leaves petiolate to sessile, opposite, simple, serrate or entire.

Inflorescence a thyrse with cymose part-inflorescences sessile to stalked and with few to many pedicellate flowers, with subtending bracts leaf-like and decreasing upwards or sometimes much-reduced; sepals more or less regularly connate, with 5 equal or subequal lobes; corolla vaguely 2-lipped or 4-lobed, with the posterior lip truncate, emarginate or 2-lobed, with the anterior lip with 3 subequal lobes; stamens 4 fertile, inserted below the throat of the corolla tube; anthers 2-celled, not diverging, with filaments erect; ovary 4-lobed, with 1 basal ovule in each locule, with a gynobasic style and a terminal 2-fid stigma.

Fruit usually with 4 mericarps each obovoid, not keeled, with the attachment scar basal, with 2 concavities on either side of the lowest point more or less well developed.

Distribution:  About 25 species from the northern temperate region and southern Africa, and 4 species native to Australia; 6 species naturalised in Australia. All the species found in S.Aust. are usually found in moist places, along streams or in river courses but also around waterholes or in areas which are temporarily flooded.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Inflorescence without a leaf-like bract subtending each part-inflorescence
 
2. Leaves densely woolly with simple and branched hairs particularly on the undersurface, obtuse or rounded
M. xrotundifolia 5.
2. Leaves glabrous or with scattered simple hairs, usually acute
 
3. Basal leaves petiolate; cluster of flowers at a node 13-20 mm broad; plants sterile
M. xpiperita 3.
3. Leaves sessile; clusters of flowers at a node 8-14 mm broad; plants producing fruits
M. spicata 7.
1. Inflorescence with a leaf-like bract subtending each part-inflorescence
 
4. Inflorescence terminal with internodes between fertile nodes not visible and only at the base sometimes with a pair of leaf-like bracts
M. xpiperita 3.
4. Inflorescence loose with internodes well visible between the fertile nodes each of which has a pair of leaf-like bracts
 
5. Calyx glabrous to shortly hairy on the inside of the lobes; leaves with 5-8 rarely 4 pairs of secondary veins
M. australis 1.
5. Calyx more or less hairy and with a ring of long hairs in the throat or with long marginal cilia; leaves with 2-4 pairs of secondary veins
 
6. Throat of the calyx tube hairy; calyx lobes with marginal cilia
M. pulegium 4.
6. Throat of the calyx tube glabrous; calyx lobes with many long hairs along the margin and often part of the inner surfaces
 
7. Leaves broadest in the lower third, if not then calyx densely hairy and calyx lobes at least one and a half times longer than broad; part-inflorescences usually sessile or if stalked then usually with at least 2 pairs of linear bracts and 3-7 flowers
M. diemenica 2.
7. Leaves broadest in the middle; calyx with scattered short hairs and calyx lobes usually broader than long; part- inflorescence usually stalked, with 1 pair. of linear bracts and 1-3 flowers
M. satureioides 6.

Author: Not yet available


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