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Teucrium chamaedrys - L.

Common Name Wall Germander, Germander
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Sunny, rather dry places on waste ground and rocky outcrops[7], mainly on limestone soils[89] Naturalized on old walls in Britain[17].
Range S. Europe - Mediterranean. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Teucrium chamaedrys Wall Germander, Germander

Teucrium chamaedrys Wall Germander, Germander


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Bloom Color: Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Teucrium chamaedrys is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


T. officinalis.

Plant Habitats

 Ground Cover; Hedge; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.

Edible Uses

The plant is widely used in making alcoholic drinks with a bitter base, which have digestive or appetite-promoting qualities[7].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiinflammatory  Antirheumatic  Aperient  Aromatic  Astringent  Bitter  Carminative  Diaphoretic  
Digestive  Diuretic  Stimulant  Tonic

Wall germander is a specific for the treatment of gout[4], it is also used for its diuretic properties, and as a treatment for weak stomachs and lack of appetite[9]. It has also been taken as an aid to weight loss and is a common ingredient in tonic wines[254]. Some caution is advised when using this plant internally, it can cause liver damage[238] The whole herb is anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, aperient, aromatic, astringent, bitter, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[4, 7, 9, 46, 165, 240]. It is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use[4, 254]. It is used externally as an astringent infusion on the gums and also in the treatment of wounds[7].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Essential  Hedge  Hedge

Amenable to light trimming so can be grown as a low edging border in the garden[200]. Any trimming is best done in the spring[182]. The plant contains 0.6% of an essential oil[7]. Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 30cm apart each way[208].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Ground cover  Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Hedge, Rock garden. Succeeds in any moderately good soil in sun or light shade[31]. Prefers a dry calcareous soil and a sunny position[7, 9]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -29°c[238]. Wall germander was at one time widely cultivated as a medicinal plant, though it is seldom use at present[4]. It is a very ornamental plant, making a good edging for the border and able to be lightly clipped[200]. The fresh leaves are bitter and pungent to the taste, when rubbed they emit a strong odour somewhat resembling garlic[4]. This species is often confused in gardens with T. divaricatum and T. x lucidrys. It is important to ensure that you have the correct plant if using it medicinally[238]. Cut off dead flower spikes when the plant has finished flowering in order to encourage bushy new growth[238]. A good bee plant[31]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed[113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if they are large enough. Otherwise, grow them on in a cold frame for the winter and plant them out in the following spring. Division in early spring[1]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[113].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Teucrium canadenseAmerican Germander, Canada germander, Western germanderPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNM010
Teucrium marumCat ThymeShrub0.3 8-11  LMHNDM02 
Teucrium massiliense Shrub1.0 5-9  LMHNDM10 
Teucrium polium Shrub0.2 6-9  LMHNDM11 
Teucrium scordiumWater GermanderPerennial0.6 -  LMHSNM011
Teucrium scorodoniaWood SagePerennial0.3 5-9  LMHSNDM12 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

jim nelson   Tue Aug 14 2007

I once had a plant in my garden which attracted hundreds of bees and would like to replace it as the original died. I am not sure if this is the same plant. I think it is. Can anyone confirm so

Gerald Baker   Fri Aug 28 2009

My lawn has become very infested with what I think is seedlings of Teucrium chamaedrys. My gardener said it was Germander, which is an old name for Teucrium. Two applications of selective weedkiller, 3 months apart, have not touched it. It is flourishing! It is deadly to a lawn.

   Aug 8 2017 12:00AM

Hi I've recently been alerted to reports of Teucrium species being linked to liver toxicity and thought you might want to know, and maybe add a caution to these species? Here's a link: https://livertox.nih.gov/Germander.htm (there are also many mentions of it on various websites but not necessarily referenced)

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