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Sideritis syriaca - L.

Common Name Ironwort
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mountain rocks[50].
Range S. Europe - E. Mediterranean in Crete.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Sideritis syriaca Ironwort

Sideritis syriaca Ironwort


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Sideritis syriaca is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Sideritis roeseri. Boiss.&Heldr.

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea

An aromatic herbal tea is made from the plant[200].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a perfectly drained gritty humus-rich soil, preferably slightly alkaline, in full sun[200]. Once established, this is a very drought-tolerant plant, it grows well in a hot dry position[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country. It tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c but is intolerant of winter cold if this is accompanied by wet conditions[200]. The leaves and flowering tops are sold for tea in local markets[46].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Sideritis hyssopifoliaHyssop-leaved mountain ironwortShrub0.4 6-10 FLMHNDM331
Sideritis theezans Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

   Sun Nov 11 2007

Sideritis syriaca - is an albanian mountain tea. Albanian people have been using it as a tonic for many years.

Mauro Cagiotti   Tue Jan 17 2006

medicinal plant used in Albania as tonic, expectorant,diuretic and as relaxing; all the plant is used except the root.

Yvonne   Wed Jun 7 2006

This is a very useful plant. Recent studies indicate that there is reliable evidence that this tea, the Greeks call it mountain tea has an active effect against osteoporosis. Grigorios Skaradavos, President of Greek Society for the study of bone metabolism said that a research team at Athens university was currently engaged in research to discover how this is possible. A report about this appeared in the Kathimerini newspaper some time ago and now in the May-June Vol V, No 24 edition of Business Partners website www.amcham.gr


Antonio   Sun Oct 8 2006

Honey from this plant is produced and sold in Italy -certainly not cheap- and I suspect it's a fad for nature and nouvelle cuisine freaks. For more info google: miele sideritis syriaca

   Sat Jan 31 2009

is it safe for pregnant women?

deme gold   Mon Mar 9 2009

Hi , i was just wondering ...is greek mountain tea safe to take during pregnancy? and if so how many cups a day .... your help on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance Deme.

   May 29 2013 12:00AM

I was literally raised drinking our mountain tea, like everybody else living in continental Greece. It was difficult for me to accept that what other people refer to as tea is actually not our mountain sideritis. As far as I know, pregnant women drink of it freely like everyone. Its medicinal use is well established against the cold, sniffle, swollen neck and cough.

   Feb 8 2015 12:00AM

To vangelis D I am from Albania, and I too was literally raised drinking mountain tea, like everybody else in Albania. Also, it was difficult for me to accept that what other people call tea was not our Albanian mountain sideritis tea.

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