Germanders

Water Germander Wood Sage Wall Germander Ground-pine

What are they?

The germanders are members of the Lamiaceae - the Labiate Family. They may be annuals or perennials, the perennial species becoming a little woody at the base and often forming spreading colonies.

Where are they found?

The species in this group are quite specific in their habitat requirements, so the habitat type can be a useful aid to identification and is listed under each species below.

Identification

The distinctive flowers, with a large lower lip and the absence of an upper lip, make this group relatively easy to tell from other labiates. The members of this group can be told apart by a combination of habitat, flower colour and leaf shape.



Wood Sage     Teucrium scorodonia

Native. A widespread species of acidic soils, typically found on heathland with Heather and Bracken but occasionally also on grassy banks. Flowers July to September. The pale yellow flowers and deeply crinkled leaves are very distinctive.

Wood Sage Wood Sage Wood Sage Wood Sage
Habit
Flower
Leaves
Leaf


Water Germander     Teucrium scordium

Native. A very rare species in the UK and, as a native plant, known to occur at just two sites, one of which is in Cambridgeshire. Formerly occurred in Suffolk and Norfolk. Conservation measures have increased the number of plants in recent years and it has been re-established in other fenland sites. Grows along ditch sides in areas that are flooded in winter. Flowers July to September. The flowers are pale pink, but plants may go long periods without flowering if conditions are not suitable.

Water Germander Water Germander Water Germander Water Germander
Habit
Flowers
Flower
Leaves


Wall Germander     Teucrium chamaedrys

Introduced from southern Europe. Occasionally found as a garden escape on dry ground or growing from old walls. Flowers July to September. A woody-based species with small leaves and upright spikes of rich-pink flowers.

Wall Germander Wall Germander Wall Germander Wall Germander
Habit
Flowers
Flower
Leaves


Bugle     Ajuga reptans

A common native of woodland and shady roadsides. Flowers May to July. A low, creeping plant that forms spreading mats. The leaves vary from green to reddish or purple, with dark purple, cultivated forms occasionally turning up in the wild as garden throw-outs. Flowers may occasionally be pink or white.

Bugle Bugle Bugle Bugle
Habit
Flowers
Flowers
Leaf


Ground-pine     Ajuga chamaepitys

Possibly native at one time in the Brecks, but also introduced from southern Europe. A species of disturbed and cultivated ground that is perhaps now lost from our region. Flowers June to September. The deeply dissected, three-fingered leaves somewhat resemble pine needles, hence to Engish name. This is not a germander, but is in a closely related genus and its flowers have a similar structure, with a large lower lip and no upper lip.

Ground-pine Ground-pine Ground-pine Ground-pine
Habit
Young plant
Flower
Leaves