Date of Award


Degree Type



Biological Sciences

Director of Thesis

John Nelson

First Reader

Johannes Stratmann

Second Reader

Johannes Stratmann


Lamiaceae is a cosmopolitan family, containing around 236 genera and 7,534 species. The family has been the object of considerable taxonomic controversy and ultimate revision, especially concerning subfamilial and tribal limits. A broad-based anatomical approach has been undertaken to assess comparative anatomy of the stem as a reasonable systematic technique. The stems of several members of the family were compared. Cross-sections were made using the recently invented hydromicrotome, fixed, and examined at magnifications of 40x, 100x, and 400x. The common anatomical features of each sectioned species were determined, and used to establish a basic guide to the hallmark stem features of Lamiaceae. Such data provides a basis for future investigation, and will aid in the classification of newly described species and the reevaluation of those already established. Several anatomical features in particular were compared to see if any phylogenetic pattern arose. No trends were observed, but similarities and differences within genera were noted.

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© 2017, Catherine Garner