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Teucrium chamaedrys

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
TEW-kree-um kam-EE-dris
Description

Wall Germander is a low-growing evergreen sub-shrub and herb in the mint family that is native to Mediterranean regions.  It is said that Teucrium is derived from the Greek name Teucer, who was the first king of Troy.  The Latin word Chamaedrys refers to the foliage, which resembles an English oak.  Along with its low growing habit, this translates to 'ground oak'.

It grows 6-18 inches tall with a 1-2 foot spread. In late spring to summer, magenta pink tubular flowers grow in whorls from the leaf axils and are attractive to bees. The leaves are aromatic and shiny with scalloped edges. When dried, they are often used in potpourri.  The horizontal and ascending stems form an attractive mound.

If a neat appearance in your garden is paramount, it may be necessary to cut back your plant after flowering.  The spent flowers leave an untidy specimen.  Pruning will also allow the plant room to fill in where the flowers have been removed.  In more formal gardens, this plant is not allowed to flower.  Repeated sheering throughout the growing season will achieve the desired uniformity of the garden.  

This plant requires low watering to be at its best, insure proper drainage. 

Spreading via rhizomes, it can be a nuisance to control.  But that spreading habit can be useful as an erosion control method.  

Grow this herb in well-drained soils in full sun. It tolerates poor soils but not wet ones. Use in an herb garden or rock garden or in groups as a ground cover, edging plant or low hedge. See the photo of it used in a knot garden.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues, but mildew, leaf spot, mites and rust can be issues.  

Severe cold temperatures can cause the plant to die-back.  Covering during extreme cold spells can help the plant survive.  

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Courtyard Entrance Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Prostratum’
    Lavender flowers appear in late spring to summer
  • 'Summer Sunshine'
    Deep pink flowers bloom in mid to late summer.
'Prostratum’, 'Summer Sunshine'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#shrub#fragrant leaves#showy leaves#winter interest#rabbit resistant#hedges#ncemgva2018#mounding#bumblebees#herb garden culinary#deer resistant#ornamentals#potpourri#cutting garden#evergreen shrub#poor soils tolerant#compact habit#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#hedge
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Prostratum’
    Lavender flowers appear in late spring to summer
  • 'Summer Sunshine'
    Deep pink flowers bloom in mid to late summer.
'Prostratum’, 'Summer Sunshine'
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#shrub#fragrant leaves#showy leaves#winter interest#rabbit resistant#hedges#ncemgva2018#mounding#bumblebees#herb garden culinary#deer resistant#ornamentals#potpourri#cutting garden#evergreen shrub#poor soils tolerant#compact habit#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#hedge
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Teucrium
    Species:
    chamaedrys
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Once used in herbal medicine. Use as potpourri or in wreaths.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean areas of Europe, Middle East and Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Bumblebees are attracted to the flowers as well as butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Its leaves have been used for teas.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Clumping
    Horizontal
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Two lipped, magenta pink tubular flowers appear in whorls in the leaf axils, each containing 6 blooms. The spikes can be 6-8 tall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    0.2 to 1 in. opposite, simple dark green leaves with scalloped margins that resemble oak leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Rock Wall
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Rabbits