Teucrium chamaedrys L.Wall Germander

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Teucrium chamaedrys' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/teucrium/teucrium-chamaedrys/). Accessed 2019-12-11.

Genus

Other species in genus

Glossary

calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
entire
With an unbroken margin.
lanceolate
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
linear
Strap-shaped.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
raceme
Unbranched inflorescence with flowers produced laterally usually with a pedicel. racemose In form of raceme.
rhombic
Diamond-shaped. rhomboid Diamond-shaped solid.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Teucrium chamaedrys' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/teucrium/teucrium-chamaedrys/). Accessed 2019-12-11.

An evergreen, semi-shrubby plant, herbaceous at the top, woody at the base, with a creeping root-stock and ascending, very downy branches, 8 to 12 in. high. Leaves opposite, mainly ovate, but conspicuously toothed or almost lobed, tapering at the base to a winged stalk, 12 to 114 in. long, almost half as much wide, bright green above, hairy on both sides. Flowers arranged on a terminal raceme 2 to 5 in. long, two or three together in the axils of the leaves or bracts. Corolla rose-coloured, 12 to 58 in. long, two-lipped, the lower lip veined with darker rose. Calyx 14 in. long, tubular, with five sharp lobes, hairy and, like the floral bracts, purplish.

Native of much of Europe (though not of Britain nor of Scandinavia), N. Africa and parts of S.W. Asia; recorded in Britain from the 17th century onwards as an escape growing on the walls of gardens, ruins, etc. It is very hardy and easily grown, flowering from July to September (earlier in warm gardens). At one time it was considered to be a valuable specific for gout and was an important ingredient in the popular medicine known as ‘Portland powder’, a name it acquired through its having (reputedly) cured an 18th-century Duke of Portland of that complaint. Even higher up the social scale, the gout of the Emperor Charles V was cured ‘by a vinous decoction of it, with some other herbs, taken for sixty successive days’ (Martyn, in his edition of Miller’s Dictionary).

The specific epithet is taken from the old Greek name, meaning dwarf oak – whence Quercula minor, as it was called by some of the herbalists. The English name germander is a corruption of chamaedrys, through the French ‘germandrée’.

T. marum L. Cat Thyme. – A small subshrub with woolly stems, usually entire linear-lanceolate or rhombic leaves to about 38 in. long, hairy beneath, and purple flowers in dense racemose clusters. Native mainly of the islands of the western Mediterranean, once common in gardens. It is as attractive to cats as nepeta and is sometimes grown as a room plant on the continent, for its aromatic foliage. T. subspinosum Willd. is closely related to this, differing chiefly in having the lateral branches converted into spines. Native of Mallorca.


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