Greek Mountain Tea

Sideritis syriaca

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sideritis (sid-er-RY--tiss) (Info)
Species: syriaca (seer-ee-AK-uh) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Ceres, California

Hercules, California

Redwood City, California

Richmond, California

Portland, Oregon

Conroe, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 2, 2017, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seeds germinated quickly after soaking in water for 24h, and being kept in refrigerated moist sand. Both seedlings and mature plants do best in a well draining medium.


On Jan 1, 2016, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Wild spread herb in Greece. Inexpensive and easy to purchase the dried herb in package. This herbal tea is usually sweetened with honey. It tastes pretty good!


On Sep 3, 2015, Klio_Tea from Santa Barbara, CA wrote:

Syriaca is only one of many varieties of Siderities (aka Greek Mountain Tea). It is the variety that is grown on the island of Crete (also known there as Malotira). As the other posters have noted, Sideritis flourishes in the wild at very high elevations on very poor soils in very poor conditions. It is native to Greece and the Balkan region. Although it may survive in other areas, it is doubtful that this herb would express its full potential in rich soils, low elevations and with summer water. Other common varieties of Sideritis that are cultivated in Greece and commercially available are Rasaeri and Scardica.

As an herbal tea (herbal infusion technically) it is known for its antioxidants, which come in the form of polyphenols and flavonoids. And the plant has many other p... read more


On Sep 9, 2012, Juliaalexander from London,
United Kingdom wrote:

The native habitat of Sideritis Syriaca is on fast-draining magnesium-limestones and marble-rubble, on south-facing slopes and collapsed plateaux, at heights of 900 to 2000 metres in the Greek mountains, including the Parnonas and Taygettos ranges (Peloponnesos), up to the Gramos and the Pindos ranges in north west Greece (and, for all I know, on the other side of the Alabanian border too). All these heights are subject to year-round high winds and low night temperatures, with frosts and occasional snow (heavy in the north) at any time from November through March, and to strong sunlight for much of the year. In ideal locations, it grows to a height of about 12 inches, though around 8 inches or less is more usual. The flowers, leaves and tough, woody stems are all used for tea. They have t... read more


On Oct 31, 2005, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A.K.A. Ironwort
traditional greek tea brewed from dried leaves used to treat common cold.
In the wild, plants thrive on sunny, rocky, dry hillsides.