Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for American Germander - Teucrium canadense   L.
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Section 6 » Order Lamiales » Family Lamiaceae
DistributionPresent across the entire state, with many holes present, but probably is found in all 100 counties.

This is a very widespread species, ranging across southern Canada and all of the United States, except apparently CA.
AbundanceFairly common to frequent in the lower Coastal Plain, and fairly common in the mountains. Infrequent over most of the Piedmont and central-western Coastal Plain. In fact, it is quite rare to absent in the Sandhills region. Even though it is not overly common anywhere, the State Rank of S4 as assigned by the NCNHP should be moved to S5, given its wide range.
HabitatThis is a wetland species found in damp ground but not overly wet places. It grows in marshes, openings in bottomlands and swamps, wet meadows, damp places in powerline clearings, and other similar places.
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a fairly "standard-looking" herb with opposite leaves, growing essentially unbranched to about 1.5-2' tall. The leaf has a short petiole about 2/5" long, and a leaf blade that is lanceolate, narrowly ovate, to often oblong, with a rounded base and a tapered tip. The blades are about 3-4" long and about 1-1.5" wide, with finely serrated margins. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme, covering the top 5-6" of the stem, consisting of numerous pink to rose-pink flowers about 2/3" long and facing outward. However, the flower has an odd shape, in that the upper lip is quite short, and the lower lip is very long and angled downward, so that the stamens are quite conspicuous. When not in bloom, this can be a tricky species to identify, as quite a few species have square stems (though mostly limited to mints) and serrated lanceolate or oblong leaves. When in bloom, the odd flower shape should clinch the identification. The species is not hard to find in the state, though it is not seen daily.
Taxonomic CommentsNot surprisingly, owing to its huge range, there are several varieties. Nearly all of the state has the nominate one -- var. canadense; however, var. hypoleucum grows in coastal marshes (mostly tidal freshwater ones), according to Weakley (2018).

Other Common Name(s)Germander, Canada Germander, Wood Sage
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
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