One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the mint family (Labiatae), with a distinctive two-lobed flower.
- ‘Like most labiates, thyme is an aromatic plant with glandular trichomes on the leaves and floral parts contain monoterpenoid essential oils.’
- ‘The flowers appear in racemes arising in whorls on the terminal part of the stems and are labiates, bilaterally symmetrical and purplish in color.’
- ‘In common with other labiates, Basil furnishes an aromatic, volatile oil, and on this account is much employed in France for flavouring soups, especially turtle soup.’
- ‘All labiates have four nutlets at the base of their flower at maturity.’
- ‘Surprisingly, I only found two labiates, a family which is particularly associated with the Mediterranean and which had seemed well represented on a previous visit to the Spanish mainland.’
1Relating to or denoting plants of the mint family.
Resembling or possessing a lip or labium.
Early 18th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘two-lipped’, describing a corolla or calyx): from modern Latin labiatus, from labium ‘lip’.
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