Ontario Weeds: Germander

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Related Links

Name: Germander, Teucrium canadense L.,

Other Names: germandrée du Canada, Wood-sage, American germander, germandrée

Family: Mint Family (Labiatae)

General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seeds and by rhizomes.

Photos and Pictures

Germander

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. 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

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.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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