Phyla Dulcis is a species that belongs to the family Verbenaceae.
Overview of Phyla Dulcis
• This is a perennial herb.
• It is native to southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela.
• It is known by several common names:
– Aztec Sweet Herb
– Bushy Phyla
– Honey herb
– Hierba Dulce
– Tzopelic-xihuitl (Nahuatl)
• Its buds are also sold as dushi buttons or dulce buttons.
• This plant has historically been used as a natural sweetener and medicinal herb.
• This was so in its native Mexico and parts of Central America.
• It was used by the Aztecs.
• It was introduced to the Spanish when they arrived.
• The sweet taste is caused by a sesquiterpene compound called hernandulcin.
• It was discovered in 1985.
• It was named for Francisco Hernández, the Spanish physician.
• He first described the plant in the sixteenth century.
Scientific classification of Phyla Dulcis
• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• (unranked): Eudicots
• (unranked): Asterids
• Order: Lamiales
• Family: Verbenaceae
• Genus: Phyla
• Species: P. dulcis
Growing/Caring conditions for Phyla Dulcis
• Plant Phyla in the sunniest spot in the garden.
• This perennial prefers all-day sun.
• It needs well-drained soil on the dry side.
• Purchase seedlings from a local nursery, as the plant grows poorly from seed.
• Place the Phyla seedlings 1/8-inch deep into soil after all danger of frost has passed.
• Each plant should have at least 8 inches of elbow room.
• Weed the area regularly.
• Apply an 8-inch thick layer of hay over the bed to protect against weed growth.
• Harvest fresh Phyla for use through the season.
• Cut the remainder of the plant when small white flowers appear.
• Hang clumps of the herb in a warm, dark room until dry.
• Use only the crumbled leaves in cooking.
• Store the unused leaves in an airtight container.
• Discard the stems.
• Italian Phyla grows well in containers.
• Phyla is a deterrent to some types of garden pests and can aid in controlling them naturally.
• Phyla plants can be cultivated in part shade.
• If growing from seeds, plant seeds 1/4-inch deep.
• Plant nursery stock about 18 inches apart.
• If you have planted from seed, thin established seedlings to 12 inches apart.
• Harvest your Phyla in mid-spring, just before the flowers open.
• Cut off the top 6 inches of the stem and remove the leaves.
• Make sure to remove the mulch in early spring.
• Propagate Phyla in mid-spring by dividing plants during peak growth, before flowers appear.