Ballota alba L.
Ballota ampliata Willd. ex Steud.
Ballota aristata Rchb.
Ballota borealis Schweigg.
Ballota bracteosa Ball
Ballota foetida Lam.
Ballota hirta Steud.
Ballota porrigens Peterm.
Ballota rubra Schrad. ex Steud.
Ballota ruderalis Sw.
Ballota sepium Paulet ex Pers.
Ballota silvestris Hoffmanns. & Link ex Willk. & Lange
Ballota sordida Salisb.
Ballota submitis (Borbás) Borbás
Ballota tournefortii Sennen
Ballota urticifolia Ortmann
Ballota velutina Posp.
Ballota vulgaris Hoffmanns. & Link
Ballota vulgaris albiflora Klett & Richt.
Marrubium ballota E.H.L.Krause
Marrubium nigrum (L.) Garsault
Stachys ballota Kuntze
Common Name: Black Horehound
Ballpta nigra is a variable herbaceous, perennial plant with erect stems; it can grow up to 130cm tall[
The plant has a long history of herbal use and is still sometimes employed in modern herbalism. It is sometimes grown in herb gardens.
Eurasia - Sweden to Portugal, east to the Caucasus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan; N. Africa - Morocco to Tunisia
Waste ground, hedgerows, woods and shady places, preferring nitrogen-rich, moist, rather loose soil[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Ballota nigra is not hardy in the colder areas of the temperate zone, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade[
]. Avoids acid soils in the wild but tolerates a pH down to 5 in cultivation[
This species is widely grown in herb gardens, but little employed because of its strong flavour[
]. Its essential oil is used to adulterate the oil of white horehound (Marrubium vulgare)[
]. The leaves emit a most unpleasant smell when bruised, somewhat like stale perspiration[
Plants can self-sow freely when well-sited[
There is at least one named variety selected for its ornamental value[
The whole plant has an offensive odour[
Black horehound has a long history of herbal use, though is not widely employed in modern herbalism because of its unpleasant flavour[
]. Nonetheless, it does have a range of medicinal virtues, being especially effective in its action as an antiemetic[
]. In the past it was often used for treating problems connected with the respiratory system, convulsions, low spirits and the menopause, but present-day authorities differ over whether it was effective in these applications[
The whole plant is antiemetic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant and vermifuge[
]. It is taken internally in the treatment of nervous dyspepsia, travelling sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy, arthritis, gout, menstrual disorders and bronchial complaints[
The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use[
]. It should not be stored for longer than a year[
]. The fresh herb is sometimes used to make a syrup[
Seed - sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer or following autumn.
Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.