Teucrium canadense (Germander)
|Also known as:||Canada Germander, American Germander, Wood Sage|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist thickets, ditches, woodland edges, along streams|
|Bloom season:||July - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 4 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Spike-like raceme of stalked flowers at the top of the stem, elongating as the plant matures with flowers open near the tip and fruit forming below. Flowers are irregular, about ¾-inch long, pink to lavender, occasionally white. The lower lip is broad with purple spots near the base, the upper lip is shorter and divided into 2 sharply pointed lobes
3 or 4 purple-tipped stamens arch over the center of the upper lip. The calyx is bell-shaped, hairy (sometimes glandular) on the outer surface, and has 5 broadly triangular, slightly spreading lobes, the upper 3 lobes typically smaller than the lower 2.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide, softly hairy, serrated around the edges, usually rounded at the base and taper to a point at the tip, on a stalk up to 5/8 inch long. Leaves are opposite, at right angles to the pair above and below, and often have clusters of a few small leaves in the axils. Stems are square, covered in short hairs and may be branched in the upper plant. Plants can create colonies from spreading rhizomes.
Germander can be easily confused with Hedge Nettles, (Stachys spp.) also members of the Mint family, the flowers of which do not have a split upper lip. There are 3 recognized varieties of Germander, 2 of which are present in Minnesota: var. occidentale, which has at least some glandular hairs (especially on the calyx) and straight, spreading hairs on the lower leaf surface; var. virginicum has curled or crooked hairs on the lower leaf surface and no glandular hairs.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka, Goodhue and Ramsey counties. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
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