White horehound

Marrubium vulgare Lamiaceae

I sed as a cough and bronchitis medicine since Egyptian times, horehound is a member of the mint family and has attractive white furry foliage. II is also used in making horehound ale and flavoring liqueurs, and attracts bees to gardens.

White horehound is a perennial with attractive crinkled, downy, gray-white, toothed foliage. The small white flowers, borne in summer, are densely clustered in successive upper leaf axils. The plant yields an aromatic bitter juice with a distinctive and not unpleasant smell.

Black horehound IBalloto nigra), a member of the same family, was also used medicinally, but this use has largely fallen away now. Native to Mediterranean Europe and Asia, black horehound is a fully hardy perennial herb that is still widely grown in herb gardens.

White horehound (Marrubium vulgareI

• Variety A very attractive, heavily white-variegated form of B. nigra, 'Archer's Variety,' has deep green, toothed leaves and small, hairy, tubular lilac (rarely white) flowers borne in whorls in the upper stem axils. The scent is rather disagreeable.

• Position Grow white horehound in a sunny, well-drained position, and black horehound in well-drained soil in sun to partial shade.

• Propagation Propagate both white and black horehound by seed. The latter's variegated form can only be reliably propagated by cuttings.

• Maintenance Both forms are hardy plants needing little care.

• Pests and diseases There are none of significance. White horehound has been used as a grasshopper repellent on various crops.

• Harvesting and storing Cut down the whole plant just as flowering begins and dry it for herbal use.

Continue reading here: Herbal medicine

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