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July 2011
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Satureja montana – Winter Savory

Images of this plant are available at this link.

Winter savory (Satureja montana) is a herb belonging to the family Lamiaceae. It is an herbaceous perennial and native to southern Europe. It is a sub shrub and is a semi woody and semi evergreen herb. It can grow up to a height of 24 inches. Its leaves are oval and lanceolate and opposite on stems. The leaves are about 1-2cm in length and wide about 5mm. The flowers are white in color. They have lush, flavorful, rapidly-growing stems. They can be used as ornamental plants.
This plant is used as a border plant and also grown for culinary purposes. This herb is used for cooking with beans and meats such as chicken and turkey. It is medicinally used as an Antiseptic; Aromatic; Carminative; Digestive; Expectorant; Stings; Stomachic.
It grows in hardy in zones 5 to 11. It needs six hours of sun in a day. It needs light, sandy soil and can be propagated from cuttings and seed. The flowers are hermaphrodite in nature. The fruit is schizocarp.
The flowers form whorls on stems. The flowers are white. They attract larva of Lepidoptera that is butterflies and moths. Coleophora bifrondella moth and caterpillars feed on these plants especially on Winter savories.
These plants are basically used for flavoring the food. Winter savories are evergreen perennials and so always available unlike summer savories which are available only in summer. The leaves are used as dried or as they are in Italian cuisine and in mostly used for cooking beans. Fricot is one traditional stew which uses this seasoning as a must. The other dishes that use this herb are Sarmale, Yerba Buena etc. Yerba Buena is an herbal tea. It is used as a Diaphoretic and a febrifuge.
These plants needs full sun to partial shade and well drained soil. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and needs dry to moist soil.

Growing conditions of Satureja montana:
• These plants needs full sun to partial shade and well drained soil. It needs a hardy zone of 5-11.
• The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
• This plant needs dry to moist soil.

As a perennial,
• Sow the savory outdoors every four weeks.
• The seeds should be sown on the soil surface from just after the last frost.
• Sow the seeds on the surface at the end of the spring.
• They need to be spaced at about 18 inches apart.

Caring for Satureja montana:

• Proper watering is required to avoid drying of soil.
• If grown indoors, six hours of sunlight is a must for the plant.
• Water only when the soil gets dried out, instead of watering regularly.
• Pinch of the tips of the young plant to ensure bushiness.
• The wood that is dead of the plant should be removed for new growth.
• Dividing plants every three years encourages new growth and vigor.
• Divide the plant in spring or in autumn.
• If stem cuttings are done for propagation, the best time is spring.

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