Satureja hortensis - L.
Common Name Summer Savory
Family Lamiaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry gravelly and stony slopes to 1500 metres[74].
Range S.E. Europe to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Satureja hortensis Summer Savory
Satureja hortensis Summer Savory montana
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Satureja hortensis is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves - raw or cooked[1, 2, 20, 27, 34, 37, 52]. An aromatic, slightly peppery flavour, they are used mainly as a flavouring for cooked foods, especially the more difficult to digest foods such as beans where they compliment the flavour and reduce flatulence[183, 244]. They are also used as a garnish for salads etc[183]. The leaves can be used fresh or dried[183]. A herb tea is made from the leaves[14]. The leaves are harvested just before the plant comes into flower[183]. A tangy, marjoram-like flavour[183]. The flowering shoots contain about 0.5% essential oil[7], this is used as a food flavouring[46, 61, 105].
Medicinal Uses

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Antirheumatic;  Antiseptic;  Aromatic;  Carminative;  Digestive;  Expectorant;  Stings;  Stomachic.

Summer savory is most often used as a culinary herb, but it also has marked medicinal benefits, especially upon the whole digestive system[254]. The plant has a milder action than the closely related winter savory, S. montana[254]. The whole herb, and especially the flowering shoots, is antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, expectorant and stomachic[4, 7, 14, 21]. Taken internally, it is said to be a sovereign remedy for colic and a cure for flatulence[4], whilst it is also used to treat nausea, diarrhoea, bronchial congestion, sore throat and menstrual disorders[238]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. A sprig of the plant, rubbed onto bee or wasp stings, brings instant relief[4]. The plant is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The essential oil forms an ingredient in lotions for the scalp in cases of incipient baldness[7]. An ointment made from the plant is used externally to relieve arthritic joints[7].


Other Uses
Essential;  Repellent.

The essential oil from the flowering shoots is used extensively in perfumery, giving a particular quality to the fragrance[7]. When grown near beans it repels insect pests[201].
Cultivation details
A very easily grown plant when given suitable conditions, it prefers a rich light soil with plenty of moisture[1, 4, 14, 27] and succeeds in a hot dry sunny position[200]. It prefers growing in an alkaline soil[200] but is not too fussy. It is very intolerant of soils that remain damp and dislikes shade[200]. Summer savory is often grown as a culinary herb. It is a good companion plant in the garden, where it helps to repel insect pests and grows especially well with onions and beans[14, 18, 20]. A fast-growing plant, it can be harvested within 2 months of sowing the seed[244]. If cut back as the flower buds appear, it will produce a fresh flush of leaves[1]. Summer savory seeds can prevent the germination of nearby seeds[201]. The leaves have an aromatic fragrance[245]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[7, 14]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
Seed - sow April in situ and only just cover[1]. Germinates in about 2 weeks. The plant strongly resents root disturbance so do not transplant it. In areas with mild winters an autumn sowing will provide an earlier supply of leaves[200].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Satureja montanaWinter Savory43
Satureja spicigeraCreeping Savory32
Satureja thymbraThyme-Leaved Savory22


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Subject : Satureja hortensis  

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