Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Winter savory, Satureja montana

 Satureja montana (Group) Lamiaceae
'Winter Savory' , 'Sarriette',  'Ajedrea'
The great American botanist and garden writer, Helen Morgenthau Fox (1884-1974), details her 'discovery' of this herb in her 1952 essay 'Notes on a Few Savories'.......(botany meets herbes et aromates de Cuisine) While Mediterranean herb plants were difficult to procure in the first decades of the 20th century she was lucky enough to be sent seed of different Satureja species from a Swiss Nurseryman, Henri Correvon, though the resulting plants were to have their species status stripped from them and instead were later just grouped under S. montana. 
This prostrate form which is sometimes given the name 'Nana' is similar to S. spicigera though the latter has longer leaves. It is a terrific herb for slow cooked winter dishes, say, 'le cassoulet' with plenty of beans. Just a pinch though as the flavour is strong.
What I really like about this plant however is its venerable shape similar to an old arching tree. Of course this makes it the perfect candidate for a bonsai pot.

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