The Latin name, marrubium vulgare, is derived from two Hebrew terms: mar, meaning “bitter”, and rob, meaning “much”. The taste of horehound also contributes to the name, with vulgare meaning “simple” or “common”.

Marrubium  vulgare
Marrubium vulgare


Plant family Lamiaceae (labiate)
Flowering season September
Harvest Upper shoots when blooming
Signature properties Square stems covered in downy hairs, rhythmic leaf formation
Vegetation Grassland, uncultivated land, landfill sites

Why does the herb have yellow or brown leaves?

Towards the end of their growththe green leaves of herbs increasingly turn yellow and brown. This indicates that the plant is preparing for winter and increasingly suspends photosynthesis. This process depends on climatic conditions such as sunshine duration, temperature and soil moisture. Due to Arosa's altitude, the nights get cold very early, causing discoloration to beginalreadyin late summer. But do not worry: in spring the herb sprouts anew and shines again in rich green.


In Germanic mythology, the horehound symbolizes a plant struck by lightning. The thunder god Thor is said to have sent the lightning bolt down to Earth. The Germanic people believed that the horehound prevented lightning from striking a person with no faith in god and has carried its power inside it ever since, as evidenced by the herb’s white floral crown.