Ontario Weeds: Germander
Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Germander, Teucrium canadense
Other Names: germandrée du Canada, Wood-sage, American germander, germandrée
Family: Mint Family (Labiatae)
General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seeds and by rhizomes.
Germander. A. Portion of underground rhizome system with the base of 1 abovground shoot arising from it, and upper part of a flowering shoot.
Germander. B. Tip of a flowering shoot with several open flowers showing their vrey irregular corollas.
Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 15-100cm
(6-40in.) high, stiff, hairy, square in cross-section, usually arising
from the upturned ends of rhizomes; rhizomes nearly white, producing
numerous roots from their prominent nodes and varying from slender
to nearly as thick as one's little finger; the thicker ones succulent
and brittle; leaves opposite, on petioles 5-15mm (1/5-3/5in.) long,
thick, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, sometimes with margins nearly
parallel, 0.7-13cm (¼-5¼in.) long and 0.2-6cm (1/12-2½in.)
wide, dark green on the upper surface, lighter green below, somewhat
hairy on both surfaces; margins irregularly toothed, the teeth varying
from fine to coarse.
Flowers & Fruit: Inflorescence spike-like with crowded flowers at the ends of the main stem and upper branches, 4-20cm (1-3/5-8in.) long; 1 or 2 flowers on each side of the stem at each node, rarely more; calyx 6-9mm (¼-3/8in.), 5-lobed but 2-lipped; the 3 upper lobes wider and blunter than the 2 lower; corolla purplish, pink or creamy, 1-2cm (2/5-4/5in.) long and appearing as a single petal with a rounded end and two small lobes on each side near the base. Flowers from July to September.
Habitat: Germander forms dense patches in poorly drained areas in fields in southwestern Ontario.
Similar Species: It is distinguished from most other plants with opposite leaves by its square stems, its thick, white, brittle rhizomes, and its spike-like inflorescence of pink to purplish or creamy flowers; and from other members of the Mint Family, all of which also have square stems and opposite leaves, by its lanceolate leaves frequently with somewhat parallel margins and by the unique shape of its corolla.
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