VII. Subfam. Nepetoideae (Dumort.) Luerss. (1882).

VII. 2. Tribe Mentheae Dumort. (1827).

VII. 2. B. Subtribe Menthinae (Dumort.) Endl. (1838).


Perennial or annual ( M. cymuligera Boiss. & Haussk.) herbs, subshrubs or shrubs, often aromatic; leaves entire or toothed, linear to ovate, flat or revolute; inflorescence in axillary verticillasters, 2-20-flowered, or sometimes flowers solitary in leaf-axils; bracts ± similar to leaves; bracteoles often present; flowers (possibly resupinate in M. cymuligera ) pedicellate or not, pedicels sometimes very long; calyx actinomorphic to weakly 2-lipped, campanulate or cylindrical, scarcely accrescent, 13-15-nerved, 5-lobed, lobes ± equal or (3/2), anterior often longer, sometimes curved, spreading, throat bearded or not; corolla usually small, white to yellowish, mauve, pink or purple, 2-lipped, 4-lobed (1/3), posterior lip emarginate, ± straight, anterior lip spreading, tube cylindrical, sometimes hairy in throat; stamens 4, didynamous, included or exserted from tube, filaments straight or connivent, thecae divaricate, ellipsoidal, confluent; stigma-lobes subequal, subulate; nutlets ovoid, sometimes apiculate, ± smooth, sometimes hairy, mucilage cells present.  2n = 20, 22, 30, 50, 60.  About 70 species, Europe, Mediterranean region, Macaronesia, N Africa, Asia, mountains of E and S Africa, and W tropical Africa, Madagascar.  Aromatic and medicinal plants used as flavouring and source of essential oils.  Of the six sections recognised by Morales (1993), only four are included in Micromeria as delimited here: Pseudomelissa Benth., Micromeria, Pineolentia P. Pérez, Cymularia Boiss.   The supposedly resupinate nature of the flower of M. cymuligera has been questioned.


Native to:

11 Middle Europe
12 Southwestern Europe
13 Southeastern Europe
14 Eastern Europe
20 Northern Africa
21 Macaronesia
23 West-Central Tropical Africa
24 Northeast Tropical Africa
25 East Tropical Africa
26 South Tropical Africa
27 Southern Africa
33 Caucasus
34 Western Asia
35 Arabian Peninsula
36 China
40 Indian Subcontinent
41 Indo-China
71 Western Canada
72 Eastern Canada
73 Northwestern U.S.A.
76 Southwestern U.S.A.
81 Caribbean
83 Western South America
85 Southern South America


Sabbatia Moench, Methodus: 386 (1794).

Xenopoma Willd., Mag. Neuesten Entdeck. Gesammten Naturk. Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin 5: 399 (1811).

Zygis Desv. in W.Hamilton, Prodr. Pl. Ind. Occid.: 46 (1825).

Piperella C.Presl, Fl. Sicul.: xxxvii (1826).

Apozia Willd. ex Steud., Nomencl. Bot., ed. 2, 1: 114 (1840).

Cuspidocarpus Spenn. in T.F.L.Nees von Esenbeck, Gen. Fl. Germ. 2: 18 (1843).

Micronema Schott, Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 1857: 95 (1857).

Tendana Rchb.f., Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 7: 160 (1857).


Micromeria Benth., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 15: t. 1282 (1829). Perez de Paz, Monografías Secc. 4: Ciéncias Naturales, 16: 1-306 (1978), rev. reg.; Morales, Bot. Complutensis 18: 157-168 (1993), rev. reg.


Species found in RBG Kew living collections

1971-4200 Micromeria cristata (Hampe) Griseb. N TRWH 51 F 154 0610   :  154 0902 
1995-1960 Micromeria marginata (Sm.) Chater N GNOA  F 154 0201   :  154 0507   :  ALP_H 05   :  ALP_N AHF 1g1b
1981-3708 Micromeria rivas-martinezii Wildpret  BRML  F TRO_N TC

Image resource

© Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew