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Wild Basil: Satureja vulgaris – an aromatic perennial herb




Photo of the plant on Google Search (link)

Satureja vulgaris is an aromatic perennial herb that belongs to the Mint Family of Lamiaceae (Labiatae). It can grow up to a height of 20–60-80 cm (8–24–31 in.). The plant bears flowers that are small and pink or whitish in color. They bloom from June to August. These plants are found in many different locations such as the United States, Europe and Asia. It is a plant that has a woody stem, the stem is permanent. Some of them are garden plants while others are herbs and some are also pests. The flowers produce seeds from August to October. They are usually found on alluvial banks and pastures and borders.
The stems are erect and woody and hairy too with the leaves being hairy too. The leaves are long and pointed and oval in shape. The flowers appear in dense whorls and have partial inflorescence. The basil has weak smell. The flowers of Satureja vulgaris are hermaphrodite in nature. The fruit is schizocarp. They attract larva of Lepidoptera that is butterflies and moths. Coleophora bifrondella moth and caterpillars feed on these plants especially on Winter savories.
They can be used as ornamental and border plants. These plants are basically used for flavoring food. Winter savories are evergreen perennials and so always available unlike summer savories which are available only in summer. The leaves are either used dried or not dried in Italian cuisine and in mostly 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. It needs a hardy zone of 5. 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 vulgaris:
• These plants needs full sun to partial shade and well drained soil. It needs a hardy zone of 5.
• 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 15cm apart.

Caring for Satureja vulgaris:
• Place these plants in a place where enough sun is available.
• Direct sunlight of at least six hours is required.
• This plant does not tolerate frost.
• During winter place it in sheltered location and away from the wind.
• Grow them outside in late spring to summer.
• Fertilize the soil with manure or slow-release fertilizer.
• Add fertilizer to Water normally every 15-20 days.
• Water regularly in summer and decrease in autumn and suspend in winter.
• Apply sulphur and copper treatment during vegetative period.
• This avoids fungus.
• Add pesticide treatments on parasites of the plant.





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