Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Teucrium chamaedrys

Common Name
Wall Germander
CA Native
Plant Type
1' x 1' - 2'
Flower Color
Rosy Lavender to Pinkish Purple
Bloom Time
  • Summer
Simple, Serrated Dark Green Leaves
Deer Resistant
Seldom Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
  • Butterfly & Other Insect Nectar
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Fragrance
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Low
  • Moderate
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This compact, bushy, little perennial is known as the "poor man's boxwood" because it can be substituted for the more expensive boxwood. The glossy, aromatic, evergreen foliage resembles boxwood but it has the added advantage of having tight clusters of rosy lavender flowers on terminal growth in the late spring. Leaves resemble miniature oak leaves (chamaedrys means ground oak in Greek).  This is an excellent edging plant or low-clipped hedge. Looks good in rock or herb gardens. Commonly planted on old world Victorian knot gardens.

Best grown in average, well-drained soils. Tolerates poor soils as long as drainage is good. Plant in full sun as even partial shade makes it floppy. Needs dry to medium moisture. Pinch back or shear after it flowers to keep it from getting leggy. Spreads by underground rhizomes so it can be invasive but well worth the effort of pulling out unwanted additions.

Bees and butterflies are attracted to this plant

No serious insect or disease problems. It can be susceptible to mildew, leaf spot and rust if grown in shady, moist conditions.

Master Gardener Comments

I love this plant in my herb garden. I use it for a bordered edge. When the flowers are in bloom this plant pulls in all the bees and butterflies in the neighborhood.


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