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    Vascular Plants of California
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Marrubium vulgare

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MINT FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree, vine], glabrous to hairy, generally aromatic. Stem: generally erect, generally 4-angled. Leaf: generally simple to deeply lobed, generally opposite, generally gland-dotted. Inflorescence: generally cymes, generally many in dense axillary clusters surrounding stem, generally separated by evident internodes or collectively crowded, spike- or panicle-like, occasionally head-like or raceme, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers sessile or pedicelled. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx generally 5-lobed, radial to bilateral; corolla generally bilateral, 1--2-lipped, upper lip entire or 2-lobed, +- flat to hood-like, occasionally 0, lower lip generally 3-lobed; stamens generally 4, epipetalous, generally exserted, paired, pairs generally unequal, occasionally 2, staminodes 2 or 0; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed to base chambers 2, ovules 2 per chamber, style 1, generally arising from center at junction of lobes, stigmas generally 2. Fruit: generally 4 nutlets, generally ovoid to oblong, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 230 genera, 7200 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for herbs, oils (Lavandula, lavender; Mentha, mint; Rosmarinus, rosemary; Thymus, thyme), some cultivated as ornamental (in California Cedronella, Leonotis, Monarda, Phlomis). Note: Moluccella laevis L., shell flower, historical waif in California. Satureja calamintha (L.) Scheele subsp. ascendens (Jordan) Briq. reported as alien but not naturalized. Salazaria moved to Scutellaria; California Hyptis moved to Condea, California Satureja moved to Clinopodium.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MarrubiumView Description 

Common Name: HOREHOUND
Habit: Perennial herb. Stem: generally erect, generally branched, tomentose. Leaf: petioled to +- sessile; blade generally ovate to round, crenate or toothed. Inflorescence: head-like, in leaf axils. Flower: calyx 10-lobed in California, lobes spreading or recurved, sharp-pointed; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip entire to 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed; stamens 4, fertile, lower pair generally > upper pair, included in tube; style included, lobes +- equal. Fruit: nutlet tip truncate.
Species In Genus: 30 species: Europe. Etymology: (Latin: from ancient Hebrew word for bitter juice) Note: Some species cultivated for folk medicine, flavorings, some TOXIC.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Ryding 1998 Syst Bot 23:235--247
Unabridged Reference: Cronquist & Reveal 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:308

Marrubium vulgare L.
Stem: ascending to erect, 1--6 dm. Leaf: petiole < blade; blade 1.5--5.5 cm, wide-ovate to +- round, base rounded to +- lobed, margin crenate. Flower: calyx 4--6 mm, lobes short-soft-hairy; corolla > calyx, lips +- equal. Chromosomes: 2n=34,36.
Ecology: Disturbed sites, generally overgrazed pastures; Elevation: < 600 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc W&I); Distribution Outside California: widespread worldwide. Flowering Time: Mar--Nov Note: Formerly cultivated for tea, flavoring.
Jepson eFlora Author: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Ryding 1998 Syst Bot 23:235--247
Unabridged Reference: Cronquist & Reveal 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:308
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botanical illustration including Marrubium vulgare


Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Marrubium vulgare, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 15, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 15, 2018.

Marrubium vulgare
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2006 Larry Blakely
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2008 Steve Matson

More photos of Marrubium vulgare in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Marrubium vulgare:
CA (exc W&I);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.