Aromatic herbs or shrubs, rarely trees, mostly with 4-angled stems and opposite or whorled simple leaves. The flowers are mostly bilabiate, variously clustered in +/- cymose and bracteate inflorescences. The calyx is persistent, 2-lipped or regular, mostly 5-toothed. The corolla is mostly 2-lipped with the upper lip 2-lobed and the lower lip 3-lobed. There are usually 4 stamens that are located on the corolla-tube and didynamous. There is a single, 2-parted style and a superior ovary. The fruits are 4 one-seeded nutlets included in the persistent calyx. A family of over 150 genera and 3000 species that is widely distributed in temperate and tropical regions. (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 522.)
There are no poisonous plants in this family. Many are cultivated for their beautiful flowers and even more for the condiments they provide, such as sage, thyme, peppermint and marjoram. (Dale 128).