Fine Art

Marrubium vulgare

Marrubium vulgare , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Lamioideae
Tribus: Marrubieae
Genus: Marrubium
Species: Marrubium vulgare

Marrubium vulgare L., Sp. Pl. 2: 583 (1753).

Prasium marrubium E.H.L.Krause in J.Sturm, Deutschl. Fl. Abbild., ed. 2, 11: 127 (1903), nom. superfl.
Marrubium album Garsault, Fig. Pl. Méd.: t. 364 (1764), nom. inval., opus utiq. oppr.
Marrubium apulum Ten., Fl. Napol. 1(Prodr.): XXXIV (1812).
Marrubium uncinatum Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med. 3: 353 (1812).
Marrubium hamatum Kunth in F.W.H.von Humboldt, A.J.A.Bonpland & C.S.Kunth, Nov. Gen. Sp. 2: 310 (1818).
Marrubium germanicum Schrank ex Steud., Nomencl. Bot. 1: 510 (1821).
Marrubium vulgare var. apulum (Ten.) Trevir., Index Seminum (WROCL, Wratislaviensi) 1821(App. 3): 2 (1821).
Marrubium vaillantii Coss. & Germ., Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2, 20: 293 (1843).
Marrubium vulgare var. lanatum Benth. in Candolle, Prodr. 12: 453 (1848).
Marrubium vulgare var. caucasicum K.Koch, Linnaea 21: 696 (1849).
Marrubium ballotoides Boiss. & Balansa in P.E.Boissier, Diagn. Pl. Orient., ser. 2, 4: 53 (1859).
Marrubium vulgare var. microphyllum Baguet, Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 31: 185 (1891).
Marrubium vulgare var. oligodon Barratte in E.Bonnet & J.F.G.Barratte, Expl. Sci. Tunisie, Cat. Pl.: 337 (1896).
Marrubium hyperleucum P.Candargy, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 44: 149 (1897).
Marrubium hyperleucum var. brevidens P.Candargy, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 44: 149 (1897).
Marrubium hyperleucum var. comosum P.Candargy, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 44: 149 (1897).
Marrubium vulgare var. gossypinum Nábelek, Spisy Prír. Fak. Masarykovy Univ. 70: 60 (1926).
Marrubium vulgare subsp. apulum (Ten.) H.Lindb., Acta Soc. Sci. Fenn., Ser. B, Opera Biol. 2(7): 28 (1946).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Northern Europe
Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland (introduced), Sweden.
Regional: Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland.
Regional: Southwestern Europe
Baleares, Corse, France, Portugal, Sardegna, Spain.
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Kriti, Romania, Sicilia, Turkey-in-Europe, Yugoslavia.
Regional: Eastern Europe
Belarus, Baltic States, Krym, Central European Russia, South European Russia, Ukraine.
Continental: Africa
Regional: Northern Africa
Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia.
Regional: Macaronesia
Azores, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira.
Regional: Southern Africa
Free State (introduced).
Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: Middle Asia
Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Regional: Caucasus
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus.
Regional: Western Asia
Afghanistan, Cyprus, East Aegean Islands, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon-Syria, Palestine, Sinai, Turkey.
Regional: Arabian Peninsula
Saudi Arabia.
Regional: China
Continental: Asia-Tropical
Regional: Indian Subcontinent
Nepal, Pakistan, West Himalaya.
Continental: Australasia (all introduced)
Regional: Australia
Norfolk Islands.
Regional: New Zealand
New Zealand North, New Zealand South.
Continental: Pacific (all introduced)
Regional: Southwestern Pacific
New Caledonia.
Regional: South-Central Pacific
Easter Islands.
Regional: North-Central Pacific
Continental: Northern America (all introduced)
Regional: Subarctic America
Regional: Western Canada
British Columbia, Saskatchewan.
Regional: Eastern Canada
Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec.
Regional: Northwestern U.S.A.
Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming.
Regional: North-Central U.S.A.
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
Regional: Northeastern U.S.A.
Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia,
Regional: Southwestern U.S.A.
Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah.
Regional: South-Central U.S.A.
New Mexico, Texas.
Regional: Southeastern U.S.A.
Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Central, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest.
Continental: Southern America (all introduced)
Regional: Central America
Regional: Northern South America
Regional: Western South America
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru.
Regional: Brazil
Brazil South.
Regional: Southern South America
Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Chile Central, Chile North, Juan Fernández Islands, Uruguay.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 583. Reference page.


USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Marrubium vulgare in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Marrubium vulgare in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Jan 7. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Marrubium vulgare in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Jan 7. Reference page.

Vernacular names
català: Malrubí
čeština: jablečník obecný
Deutsch: Gewöhnlicher Andorn
English: white horehound, common horehound
suomi: Valkohurtanminttu
français: Marrube blanc
magyar: Orvosi pemetefű
italiano: Marrubio
polski: szanta zwyczajna
português: erva-virgem
русский: Шандра обыкновенная
slovenčina: jablčník obyčajný
Türkçe: Köpek otu
中文: 欧夏至草

Marrubium vulgare (white horehound or common horehound) is a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae), native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwestern and central Asia. It is also widely naturalized in many places, including most of North and South America.

It is a grey-leaved herbaceous perennial plant, and grows to 25–45 centimetres (10–18 in) tall. The leaves are 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long with a densely crinkled surface, and are covered in downy hairs. The flowers are white, borne in clusters on the upper part of the main stem.

1 Etymology
2 Uses
2.1 Medicinal
2.2 As food
3 As an invasive weed
4 As biocontrol
5 In astrology
6 Gallery
7 See also
8 References
9 Further reading
10 External links


The Oxford English Dictionary derives the word horehound from Old English hoar ("white," "light-colored," as in "hoarfrost") and hune (a word of unknown origin designating a class of herbs or plants). The second element was altered by folk etymology.
Celsus' De medicina in the Aldine edition of 1528

Horehound has been mentioned in conjunction with medicinal use dating at least back to the 1st century BC, where it appeared as a remedy for respiratory ailments in the treatise De Medicina by Roman encyclopaedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus.[2] The Roman agricultural writer Columella lists it as a remedy for expelling worms in farm animals in his important first-century work On Agriculture.[3] Since then, horehound has appeared for similar purposes in numerous herbals over the centuries, such as The Herball, or, Generall historie of plantes by John Gerard, and Every Man His Own Doctor: or, The Poor Planter’s Physician by Dr. John Tennent.[4]

M. vulgare has been promoted widely on the internet for its supposed therapeutic purposes, and there has been preliminary research into its medicinal properties.[5] Nevertheless, as of 2016, there is no good evidence that it has any value as a medicine.[5] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not endorse the plant for use as medicine but has declared it to be a generally safe food additive.[6]

As food
A container of horehound candies

Horehound candy drops are bittersweet hard candies like cough drops that are made with sugar and an extract of M. vulgare. They are dark-colored, dissolve in the mouth, and have a flavor that has been compared to menthol and root beer. Like other products derived from M. vulgare, they are sometimes used as an unproven folk treatment for coughs and other ailments.[7][8]

M.vulgare is used to make beverages such as horehound beer (similar to root beer), horehound herbal tea (similar to the Maghrebi mint tea), and the rock and rye cocktail.[9]
As an invasive weed

Horehound was introduced to southern Australia in the 19th century as a medicinal herb. It became a weed of native grasslands and pastures where it was introduced with settlers' livestock and was first declared under noxious weeds legislation. It now appears to have reached its full potential distribution.

In New Zealand, efforts are being made to control its spread with biocontrol measures using the horehound clearwing moth (Chamaesphecia mysiniformis) and the horehound plume moth (Wheeleria spilodactylus), which could eat their way through many plants.[10][11]

Horehound is usually found in disturbed and overgrazed areas. It is highly unpalatable to livestock, so livestock eat other plants around it, a process that favors the persistence and spread of the weed. It may persist in native vegetation that has been grazed.
As biocontrol

Marrubium vulgare is also used as a natural grasshopper repellent in agriculture.
In astrology

According to 14th century English poet John Gower, in Book 7 of his Confessio Amantis, this plant was the herb of the fourth star of Nectanebus' astrology[clarify], Capella. Gower uses the older name, Alhaiot (VII:1338).

Wild horehound

Wild horehound

Foliage of young plants

Foliage of young plants
Horehound bug (Agonoscelis rutila), an insect that feeds on the plant

Horehound bug (Agonoscelis rutila), an insect that feeds on the plant
Leaves (detail)

Leaves (detail)

See also

List of candies


Franz Eugen Köhler, 1897, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
"LacusCurtius • Celsus – On Medicine – Book IV". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
"Full text of "On agriculture, with a recension of the text and an English translation by Harrison Boyd Ash"". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
John Tennent. "Every Man His Own Doctor: OR, The Poor Planter's Physician, ca. 1727" (PDF). Retrieved 21 January 2018.
Rodríguez Villanueva J, Martín Esteban J (October 2016). "An Insight into a Blockbuster Phytomedicine; Marrubium vulgare L. Herb. More of a Myth than a Reality?". Phytother Res (Review). 30 (10): 1551–1558. doi:10.1002/ptr.5661. PMID 27271209. S2CID 22341794.
Foster, Steven; Tyler, Varro E.; Tyler, Virginia M. (1999). Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. Psychology Press. p. 218. ISBN 9780789007056.
Vandersteen, Eric (18 March 2019). Horehounds Are the Old-School Candy You're Missing Out On. Saveur.
Sharrock, Jane (2004-08-03). Who Wants Candy?. Penguin. p. 50. ISBN 9781440625534.
"Rock & Rye - Imbibe Magazine". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
"Moths may be the key to controlling spreading infestations of horehound". Stuff. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.

"Horehound". Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. Retrieved 20 June 2022.

Further reading
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marrubium vulgare.

Everist, D.L. (1981) Poisonous Plants of Australia. 3rd ed. (Angus & Robertson: Sydney). ISBN 0-207-14228-9
Parsons, W. & Cuthbertson, E. (2001) Noxious Weeds of Australia. 2nd ed. (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood). ISBN 0-643-06514-8

Plants, Fine Art Prints

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World