Minthostachys (Benth.) Spach (Labiatae) is a genus of aromatic, scandent shrubs distributed along the Andes from Venezuela to Argentina. It is essentially a pioneer genus, colonizing open or disturbed areas, often landslides. Members of the genus are of considerable interest as medicinal plants and a source of ethereal oils, and are used by the local population much like plants of the superficially similar genus Mentha L. in Europe. The aim of the present study was to provide a modern taxonomic treatment of Minthostachys, to accompany molecular studies published elsewhere (Schmidt-Lebuhn, 2007; Schimdt-Lebuhn, 2008).