Summer Savory ~ Satureia hortensis
$5 per plant in 9cm pot (not quite ready yet)
So there are two Savory species that are commonly grown, Winter savory Satureia montana which is a perennial, and the annual Summer savory Satureia hortensis. It is Summer savory that has the most use for culinary purposes and the only one used for medicinal purposes.
Satureia hortensis is a hardy annual with slender upright stems that grow about a foot high. Narrow, aromatic !cm long leaves grow in pairs along the stems and the tiny flowers are a pale pinkish colour. It is best grown in full sun with light soil rich in hummus. Grows well in containers too.
Virgil noted Savory as being the most fragrant of herbs and recommended it to be grown near beehives. Just so happens that the stems and leaves can be used to rub on a bee sting to relieve the pain and itching, handy! It’s also used for its warming qualities medicinally with its aromatic and carminative properties.
Summer savory leaves have a pleasant peppery flavour, more elicate than the winter species which is why it is the more frequently used as a seasoning. Fresh sprigs boiled with broad beans or peas is nice and a traditional use, giving it its other name The Bean Herb. The leaves can also be used fresh or dried with meats, fish, eggs and in soups and stuffings.
Dry the herb when it’s in flower by pulling the whole plant up.