Douglas savory

Category: Medicines - plant based



Introduction and description


Micromeria douglasii, Douglas’ savory or yerba buena, is a plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to western and northwestern North America, ranging from maritime Alaska southwards to California. 

The plant's most common name, "yerba buena", the same in English and Spanish, is an alternate form of the Spanish hierba buena (meaning "good herb"). The name was bestowed by pioneer Catholic priests of Alta California as they settled an area where the plant is native.  

Botanical Synonyms include:

  • Clinopodium douglasii (Benth.) Kuntze
  • Micromeria chamissonis (Benth.) Greene
  • Satureja chamissonis (Benth.) Briq.
  • Satureja douglasii (Benth.) Briq


Yerba Buena is a rambling aromatic herb, a sprawling, mat-forming perennial, which is especially abundant close to the coast.  It is a perennial, decumbent, forming mats < 1 m wide.
Stem slightly woody, sometimes rooting; hairs sparse, minute, recurved
Leaf 10–35 mm, 5–25 mm wide, ovate to ovate-triangular, shallowly crenate-dentate; hairs sparse, minute
Inflorescence: flowers 1(–3) per leaf axil; pedicels 5–20 mm
Flower: calyx 4–5 mm, tubular, turning purple in age, lobes ± 0.5 mm; corolla 3–8 mm, white to lavender
Fruit ± 1 mm, shiny brown, smooth
Ecology: Shady places, chaparral, woodland
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Central Western California, Transverse Ranges
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho


Medicinal uses

The plant has medicinal uses which will be seen from the observations, but it is worth adding that the leaves – dried or not – make a  pleasant tea.









Related observations