Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- The mint family, a very important and extensive natural order of dicotyledonous gamopetalous plants, with a labiate corolla, and a four-lobed ovary, changing to four seed-like monospermous fruits. This order contains about 2,600 species, mostly herbs, undershrubs, or shrubs, rarely arborescent, with opposite or whorled leaves, usually square stems, and a thyrsoid or whorled inflorescence, They are spread throughout the world, being most strongly represented in the Mediterranean and eastern regions, but abounding in all temperate latitudes. Many of the species are valued for their fragrance, as lavender and thyme; others for their stimulating qualities, as mint and peppermint; others as aromatics, as savory, basil, and marjoram; several are used as febrifuges, as the Ocimum viride of Sierra Leone. Rosemary is used in the manufacture of Hungary water, and its oil is that which gives the green color to bear's grease and like pomatums. Betony, ground-ivy, hoarhound, and others have bitter tonic qualities. Numerous species possess great beauty, as various kinds of sage, Gardoavia, and Dracocephalum.
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