The New International Encyclopædia/Germander

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GERMAN'DER (from Fr. germandrée, Sp. camedris, camedreo, from Lat. chamœdrys, wall-germander, from Gk. χαμαίδρυς, chamaidrys, germander, from χαμαί, chamai, on the ground + δρῦς, drys, oak), Teucrium. A genus of numerous and widely distributed species of plants of the order Labiatæ. The common germander, or wall-germander (Teucrium chamœdrys), often found on ruined walls in Great Britain, has probably been introduced from the south of Europe. It is a small, almost shrubby perennial, with wedge-shaped ovate, serrate leaves, and whorls of large reddish-purple flowers. It is bitter, somewhat aromatic, and was formerly much used in medicine, particularly as a principal ingredient in a once famous gout medicine called Portland powder. Similar medicinal virtues were ascribed to Teucrium botrys, a small annual species common on dry hills in Germany, having aromatic fragrance and yellow flowers. Cat-thyme (Teucrium marum), a native of the south of Europe, abounds in a pungent volatile oil, has a camphor-like smell, and, like catmint and valerian-root, is greatly relished by cats. It is often used as a sternutatory. Two species are rather abundant in the United States — wood-sage, or American germander (Teucrium Canadense), in low ground in the eastern part of the United States, and Teucrium occidentale in the West.