Several species in the Lamiaceae family are therapeutically significant medicinal plants. Such as sage (Salvia officinalis L.), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), peppermint (Moldier piperita L.). marjoram (Majomna hortensis Winch), thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), Origanum spp., hyssop (H...yssopus officinalis L.), Lavandula spp., basil (Ocimum basalicum L.), lemon-balm (Melissa officinalis L.) are regularly produced in Hungary. Nevertheless, data on their floral biology are not satisfactory. This review intends to gather information on the characteristic constitution of flowers and inflorescences, blooming dynamics, pollination mechanism and crossability of some of the most significant medicinal and spice species
Flowers are mainly hermaphrodite, however, also monoeceous ones are turning up: pistillate flowers marjoram, tyme, oregano. In flowering of a plant individual, a basipetal blooming sequence is described. These species have a floral structure fully adapted to pollination by insects, and the majority of them is an excellent honey-plant (lavandel, hyssop, sage, etc.).
Flowers exhibit characteristic proterandry, therefore autogamy is considered to be almost impossible, and geintonogamy as well as xenogamy to be the most characteristic ways of fertilization. However, in several cases self-fertilization proved to be also successful. Crossability among cultivars or species is depending on the genotype combination and usually produces less seed than the above forms of fertilization.
The growth rate of three rosemary clones, `Harmat', 'Salem' and `Horvát', their essential oil content and its components as well as the total phenol content and total antioxidant capacity in their aqueous and ethanolic extracts were compaired. Total phenol content (determined by Folin-Ciocalteau reagent) and antioxidant power (FRAP-value) of a...queous and ethanolic rosemary extracts were measured by spectrophotometric method. The essential oil content was determined from drug by water-steam distillation. `Harmat' showed the most intensive growth through the vegetation period. The total antioxidant power of the ethanolic extracts from all the three clones was similar: a decrease was observed at the end of the season. In most cases more antioxidant compounds were dissolved in the aqueous extracts. The total quantity of phenolic compounds shows a good correlation with the potential extent of stress effects. The difference among the phenol contents of the various clones can be derived from the difference in their tolerance, because phenols have antioxidant effects contributing to protection against harmful impacts. Difference between the two extraction methods (aqueous and ethanolic) is due to the distinct solubility of compounds. Some other components, like essential oil compounds also possess antioxidant effect and in this way they may influence the antioxidant power of extracts.