Unusual Vegetable Plants
Winter Savory - Satureja Montana.
Winter Savory or Satureja Montana has many close relatives including Satureja Thymbra which is grown in Spain as a spice. It is a native of Southern Europe and has been known in Great Britain since 1562.
This dwarf, hardy, perennial, shrub, has woody stems that branch profusely and are covered in oblong leaves with purple flowers in June. Surprisingly the plants grow better in poor, stony soil rather than a rich one. Too much moisture makes the plant's growth soft and then it can't stand cold Winters. Winter Savory grows well as a low hedge and the constant cutting will encourage new growth.
As with many perennial herbs,
older plants can get too woody with few new leaves produced, so it is
best to keep taking cuttings ever few years to enable older
plants to be replaced.
Plants can't readily be
bought here in the UK, but can be grown from seed. If you are lucky
enough to find one or two plants, cuttings can be taken with a heel attached, in April or June,
readily root if they are kept shaded and not allowed to dry out.
Alternatively older plants
can be divided in March or April as long as they are kept moist and
replanted in a wet spell in the later part of the Summer. Once the
plants are settled in though, don't keep watering them.
After the leaves have been
harvested and dried they can be used as a seasoning in the same way as
Summer Savory, or powdered and mixed with grated bread-crumbs, to coat
meat and fish dishes to give them quite a spicy flavour.