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Common Name: Thyme-Leaved Savory
Satureja thymbra is a Shrub up to 0.40 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
S.E. Europe - Balkans, Crete, Greece.
Sunny positions on dry rocky hills[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
]. Plants are intolerant of soils that remain damp[
]. Prefers a neutral to alkaline soil[
This species is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, plants suffer damage at temperatures below freezing but they can be grown as annuals, flowering and setting seed in their first year[
]. Plants will be hardier in soils that are very well drained and also if the soil is a bit on the poor side[
A good bee plant[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
The leaves have a thyme-like flavour and are used as a seasoning for pulses, savoury breads, brine-cured olives, vegetables etc[
The leaves and young shoots are used as a tea substitute. It is said that this make one of the best-tasting of all herb teas[
The leaves are antibacterial, aromatic, digestive, expectorant and tonic[
]. They are used internally to treat minor digestive discomfort and bronchial congestion[
]. The leaves are harvested during the growing season and can be used fresh or dried[
A strong infusion of the herb is used in the autumn to clean wine barrels in preparation for the new vintage[
An essential oil is obtained from the plant, it contains 19% thymol[
] and is also rich in carvacrol[
]. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry[
Seed - surface sow in mid spring in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination can be slow and erratic[
] but usually takes place within a month[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. It is usually possible to plant out into their permanent positions during the summer, but if the plants have not grown sufficiently, or if you live in an area of cold winters, it might be best to grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm taken at a node, mid summer in a frame. Pot up in autumn and overwinter in a frame, planting out in late spring or early summer of the following year. A high percentage usually succeed[
Cuttings of young wood, preferably with a heel, mid spring in a frame[
]. Plant out in the summer if the plants grow well, otherwise overwinter them in a cold frame and plant out in late spring or early summer of the following year[
Division in early spring as growth commences[
]. This works best if soil has been mounded up into the bottom 20cm of the plant early in the previous summer[
]. Pot up the divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established. Plant them out in the summer.