Winter savory, Satureja montana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Satureja
  • Thymbra Mill. 1754 not L. 1753
  • Saturiastrum Fourr.
  • Euhesperida Brullo & Furnari
  • Argantoniella G.López & R.Morales

Satureja is a genus of aromatic plants of the family Lamiaceae, related to rosemary and thyme. It is native to North Africa, southern and southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. A few New World species were formerly included in Satureja, but they have all been moved to other genera. Several species are cultivated as culinary herbs called savory, and they have become established in the wild in a few places.[1][2]


Satureja species may be annual or perennial. They are low-growing herbs and subshrubs, reaching heights of 15–50 cm (5.9–19.7 in).

The leaves are 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) long, with flowers forming in whorls on the stem, white to pale pink-violet.

Ecology and cultivation

Satureja species are food plants for the larva of some Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Caterpillars of the moth Coleophora bifrondella feed exclusively on winter savory (S. montana).

Savory may be grown purely for ornamental purposes; members of the genus need sun and well-drained soil.


Dried summer savory leaves

Both summer savory (Satureja hortensis) and winter savory (Satureja montana) are used to flavor food. The former is preferred by cooks but as an annual is only available in summer; winter savory is an evergreen perennial.

Savory plays an important part in Georgian, Bulgarian and Italian cuisine, particularly when cooking beans. It is also used to season the traditional Acadian stew known as fricot. Savory is also a key ingredient in sarmale, a stuffed cabbage dish in traditional Romanian cuisine. The modern spice mixture Herbes de Provence has savory as one of the principal ingredients.

In Azerbaijan, savory is often incorporated as a flavoring in black tea.

Satureja mexicana
Satureja subspicata
  1. Satureja adamovicii Šilic - Balkans
  2. Satureja aintabensis P.H.Davis - Turkey
  3. Satureja amani P.H.Davis - Turkey
  4. Satureja atropatana Bunge - Iran
  5. Satureja avromanica Maroofi - Iran
  6. Satureja bachtiarica Bunge - Iran
  7. Satureja boissieri Hausskn. ex Boiss. - Turkey, Iran
  8. Satureja bzybica Woronow - Caucasus
  9. Satureja × caroli-paui G.López - Spain (S. innota × S. montana)
  10. Satureja cilicica P.H.Davis - Turkey
  11. Satureja coerulea Janka - Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey
  12. Satureja cuneifolia Ten - Spain, Italy, Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia, Iraq
  13. Satureja × delpozoi Sánchez-Gómez, J.F.Jiménez & R.Morales - Spain (S. cuneifolia × S. intricata var. gracilis)
  14. Satureja edmondii Briq. - Iran
  15. Satureja × exspectata G.López - Spain (S. intricata var. gracilis × S. montana)
  16. Satureja fukarekii Šilic - Yugoslavia
  17. Satureja hellenica Halácsy - Greece
  18. Satureja hortensis L. – summer savory - Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, Crimea, Caucasus, Altai Republic, Kazakhstan, Xinjiang, western Himalayas; naturalized in western Mediterranean, Persian Gulf sheikdoms, Cuba, Dominican Republic, scattered locations in United States
  19. Satureja horvatii Šilic - Greece, Yugoslavia
  20. Satureja icarica P.H.Davis - Greek Islands
  21. Satureja innota (Pau) Font Quer - Spain
  22. Satureja intermedia C.A.Mey. - Iran, Caucasus
  23. Satureja intricata Lange - Spain
  24. Satureja isophylla Rech.f. - Iran
  25. Satureja kallarica Jamzad - Iran
  26. Satureja kermanshahensis Jamzad - Iran
  27. Satureja khuzistanica Jamzad - Iran
  28. Satureja kitaibelii Wierzb. ex Heuff. - Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia
  29. Satureja laxiflora K.Koch - Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Caucasus
  30. Satureja linearifolia (Brullo & Furnari) Greuter - Cyrenaica region of Libya
  31. Satureja macrantha C.A.Mey. - Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Caucasus
  32. Satureja metastasiantha Rech.f. - Iraq
  33. Satureja montana L. – winter savory - southern Europe, Turkey, Syria
  34. Satureja mutica Fisch. & C.A.Mey. - Caucasus, Iran, Turkmenistan
  35. Satureja nabateorum Danin & Hedge - Jordan
  36. Satureja × orjenii Šilic - Yugoslavia (S. horvatii × S. montana)
  37. Satureja pallaryi J.Thiébaut - Syria
  38. Satureja parnassica Heldr. & Sart. ex Boiss. - Greece, Turkey
  39. Satureja pilosa Velen. - Italy, Greece, Bulgaria
  40. Satureja rumelica'' Velen. - Bulgaria
  41. Satureja sahendica Bornm. - Iran
  42. Satureja salzmannii (Kuntze) P.W.Ball - Morocco, Spain
  43. Satureja spicigera (K.Koch) Boiss. - Turkey, Iran, Caucasus
  44. Satureja spinosa L. - Turkey, Greek Islands including Crete
  45. Satureja subspicata Bartl. ex Vis. - Austria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy
  46. Satureja taurica Velen. - Crimea
  47. Satureja thymbra L. - Libya, southeastern Europe from Sardinia to Turkey; Cyprus, Lebanon, Palestine
  48. Satureja thymbrifolia Hedge & Feinbrun - Israel, Saudi Arabia
  49. Satureja visianii Šilic. - Yugoslavia
  50. Satureja wiedemanniana (Avé-Lall.) Velen. - Turkey

Formerly in Satureja


The etymology of the Latin word 'satureia' is unclear. Speculation that it is related to saturare,[3] to satyr,[3] or to za'atar[4] is not well supported. The ancient Hebrew name is ṣathrá צתרה.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Satureja.
  1. 1 2 3 Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Satureja includes photos plus distribution maps for Europe + North America
  3. 1 2 F. E. J. Valpy, An Etymological Dictionary of the Latin Language, 1828, p. 542.
  4. Arthur O. Tucker, Thomas DeBaggio, The encyclopedia of herbs: a comprehensive reference to herb
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