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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
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

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.
eFlora Treatment Author: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken
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botanical illustration including Marrubium vulgare


Citation for this treatment: John M. Miller & Dieter H. Wilken 2016. Marrubium vulgare, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Marrubium vulgare
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© 2006 Larry Blakely
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Marrubium vulgare
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Marrubium vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer
Marrubium vulgare
click for enlargement
© 2014 Neal Kramer

More photos of Marrubium vulgare in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Marrubium vulgare:
CA (exc W&I);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.