Plant Family Identification - L

(Applies only to those plant families identified within the Wildflowers of Escambia site. When the page has loaded, scroll down to find the general plant family description you seek.)


Lamiaceae (Mint)

Scutellaria integrifolia

Plants are annual or perennial with square stems. Some species have the distinctive scent of mint.

The leaves are simple, opposite on the stem or the leaves form a rosette.

The flowers are irregular to nearly symmetrical in form. The corolla is five lobed or bilabiate. The ovary is superior. There will be two to four stamens.

The fruit is a schizocarp of four mericarps (nutlets).


Lauraceae (Laurel)

Sassafras albidum

Plants are mostly large trees and a few shrubs. All have aromatic bark, wood and leaves. There are about 2,000 species in tropical and warm temperate regions.

In North America there are five native and two naturalized trees, three native shrubs and one herbaceous vine.

The leaves are mostly alternate, sometimes opposite or whorled, usually simple in outline.

Fruit is a berry or drupe.

The flowers are many in branched clusters along the twigs. All flowers are bisexual in nature; three sepals and three similar petals.


Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort)

Blue Butterwort
Pinquicula caerulea

Plants are annual or perennial, carnivorous aquactic and terrestrial herbs, with solitary flowers or in racemes.

The leaves are basal rosettes or whorled and alternate on the stem. Aquatic species have leaves that are finely dissected with bladders for trapping small aquatic insects.

The flower calyx is bilaterally symmetrical with two to five united sepals. The five united petals form an upper and lower lip. The lower lip has a spur that projects backward. There are two stamens. All parts are attached at the base of the ovary.

The fruit is a capsule with one chamber and a central column to which many seeds are attached.

There are about four genera and some 300 species distributed throughout the world. Many are cultivated as garden ornamental plants in bog gardens.


Liliaceae (lily)

Catesby's Trillium
Trillium Catesbaei

Plants are mostly perennial herbs from bulbs, rhizomes, or corms. Some may be woody or tree-like. All have showy flowers in racemes or branched racemes.

The leaves are alternate, whorled or basal on the stem.

The flowers are usually bisexual in nature (perfect) and radially symmetrical. The calyx has three free sepals which commonly resemble petals. The corolla has three free petals, or petals and sepals that may be united into a tube. Look for six stamens (or rarely three). All parts are attached at the base of the ovary.

The fruit is a capsule or berry.


Linaceae (Flax)

Wild Flax
Linum perenne

Plants are annual, biannual, or perennial herbs, rarely trees. The leaves are alternate or opposite on the stem, simple (no teeth and no lobes) in form.

The flowers are radially symmetrical (regular); five sepals and five separate petals; each with a narrow base and drooping off the flower. There are ten stamens that are joined the base of their stalks. All parts are attached at the base of the ovary (ovary superior).

Fruit is a five-chambered capsule (rarely a drupe).

Worldwide there are 12 genera and almost 300 species. Linen and linseed oil are obtained from the family.


Loganiaceae (Jessamine)

Yellow Jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Plants are perennial herbs, woody vines, or trees with flowers often clustered in spikes.

The leaves may be opposite or alternate on the stem. The leaf margins may be smooth or toothed.

The flowers are radially symmetrical in form. The calyx has four to five lobes. The corolla is tubular or bell-shaped with four or five lobes. There will be four or five stamens. The ovary is superior.

Fruit is a berry (drupe) or many-seeded capsule.

There are more than 30 genera and some 400 species, widely distributed in warm and tropical regions. Some family members are cultivated as ornamental garden plants.


Loranthaceae (Mistletoe)

Phoradendron serotinum

Plants are usually six to 30 inches tall, parasitic on trees and large shrubs.

The flowers are usually radially symmetrical; bisexual in nature (or occasionally unisexual). There are two or three sepals that are barely developed; two to three petals that may be free or united. Look for two or three stamens. All parts are attached at the top of the ovary (ovary inferior).

The leaves are opposite or whorled on the stem; leathery and spoon-shaped, or reduced to scales that anchor themselves to the host plant with suckers that are thought to be modified roots.

Fruit is a berry or drupe.

The plants are found mainly in tropical and south temperate regions of the World. There are about 77 genera and 950 species worldwide.


Lythraceae (Loosestrife)

Fringed Loosestrife
Lysimachia lanceolata

This is a family of herbs, shrubs, or trees with flowers borne in racemes or branched clusters.

The leaves are opposite, alternate or whorled on the stem. Each leaf is simple (no teeth and no lobes).

The flowers are symmetrically radial or bilabiate. The calyx may be four to six lobed and joined at the base to form a tube to which the petals and stamens are attached. The sepals and petals are in equal numbers (occasionally the petals may be crumpled like crepe paper). There may be twice as many stamens (eight to twelve) as sepals. All parts are attached at the base of the ovary (ovary is superior).

Fruit is a many-seeded capsule with two to six chambers.

There are about 25 genera and some 550 species distributed throughout the world, except for very cold regions. Some species are grown as ornamental garden flowers.


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