Zuta Levana (Micromeria fruticosa, syn. Clinopodium serpyllifolium subsp. fruticosum)

Zuta Levana (Micromeria fruticosa, syn. Clinopodium serpyllifolium subsp. fruticosum)

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Zuta Levana, or White-leaved Savory, is a small, aromatic evergreen herb growing in rocky areas along the Mediterranean coasts of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, the Balkans, Italy, and Spain. It is a member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae) and has been used for millennia in its native areas to make delicious herbal teas, flavorings for meat, and for its medicinal properties.

Zuta Levana grows to 24' high with pale green oval leaves covered in a silvery fuzz and small white flowers that bloom in the spring. Its aromatic leaves have a menthol fragrance and a sweet minty flavor. The fresh leaves can be added to salads and salad dressings and are an excellent flavoring for lamb.  

Dried leaves are widely available for sale, but tea made from fresh leaves is superior and makes a refreshing, minty drink that is said to lower blood pressure and is a treatment for stomach ailments, diarrhea, colds, eye infections, and heart disorders. Gargling with an infusion of the leaves treats gum disease and bad breath, and a poultice made from boiled leaves is a balm for skin infections and burns. Zuta Levana's foliage contains pulegone, a naturally occurring essential oil found in members of the mint family that should not be taken by women who are pregnant or while trying to conceive.

This small plant grows in full sun to partial shade in average, moist, well-draining soil. It is an excellent addition to a rock garden, border, or container and is hardy in USDA zones 9+

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