One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the mint family (Labiatae), with a distinctive two-lobed flower.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘All labiates have four nutlets at the base of their flower at maturity.’
- ‘Like most labiates, thyme is an aromatic plant with glandular trichomes on the leaves and floral parts contain monoterpenoid essential oils.’
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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