Teucrium is a genus of mostly perennial plants in the family Lamiaceae. Some of the New World species are annuals. The name is believed to refer to King Teucer of Troy. Members of the genus are commonly known as germanders. There are hundreds of species, including herbs, shrubs or subshrubs. They are found all over the world but are most common in Mediterranean climates.
An unusual feature of this genus compared with other members of Lamiaceae is that the flowers completely lack the upper lip of the corolla, although it is somewhat reduced also in other genera (Ajuga among them).
Several species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Coleophora case-bearers Coleophora auricella and Coleophora chamaedriella. The latter is only known from Wall Germander (T. chamaedrys).
Teucrium species are rich in essential oils. They are valued as ornamental plants and a pollen source, and some species have culinary and/or medical value.
==Fossil record== †Teucrium tatjanae seed fossils are known from the Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene of western Siberia, Miocene and Pliocene of central and southern Russia and Miocene of Lusatia. The fossil seeds are similar to seeds of the extant Teucrium orientale. †Teucrium pripiatense seed fossils have been described from the Pliocene Borsoni Formation in the Rhön Mountains, cental Germany.
== Selected species ==
==See also== * Diascordium * Venice treacle
* [http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TEUCR USDA Plants Profile for Teucrium]
01 Category:Lamiaceae genera