Micromeria Species, Douglas' Savory, Yerba Buena

Micromeria douglasii

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Micromeria (my-kroh-MER-ee-a) (Info)
Species: douglasii (dug-LUS-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Clinopodium douglasii
Synonym:Micromeria barbata
Synonym:Satureja douglasii
Synonym:Thymus douglasii
Synonym:Satureja chamissonis





Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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


Berkeley, California

Crockett, California

Los Angeles, California

Richmond, California

San Francisco, California

San Jose, California

Honomu, Hawaii

Eagle Point, Oregon

Bremerton, Washington

North Sultan, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 14, 2019, 3acreDave from Albany, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I bought this plant as Satureja douglasii. It is thin and sparse, but has been given only modest waterings, in a shady location (under a Japanese maple). It doesn't even fill out during or after winter rains.

Others I have consulted call it "fussy" and say mine are pretty typical.


On Oct 22, 2011, mlfreitas from Placerville, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought this plant as Satureja 'yerba buena', from Lotus Valley Natives near Placerville CA. It's doing great and has spread about 3 ft. I mixed it in with ornamental strawberry, and a nice low blue Penstemon, as understory for Cotoneaster, 'pareyi'. I plan to divide it in the Spring and put it elsewhere around my yard.


On Nov 8, 2010, DrCalyx from Crockett, CA wrote:

If you live on the west coast, this is one of those natives that loves cultivation. Cultivated plants are more robust and denser than wild specimens. It makes a great small scale ground-cover for light shade or in sun near the coast. The white flowers are too small to count for much, but the leaves always look cheerful and they smell great.


On Aug 8, 2010, penguin71 from Anaheim, CA wrote:

Just got 8 cuttings from a thriving plant in Hesperia Ca. this is in the high dessert region of the Mojave dessert. first time trying to grow from cuttings or at all so will update when I know more.


On Feb 8, 2008, LaFinca from Eagle Point, OR wrote:

I have yet to attempt growing this plant; but I understand that it is native to s.w. British Columbia; Washington, Oregon and California west of the Cascades, and the coastal range of California, n. Idaho and w. Montana. It has been introduced to Alaska. It is a non-agressive, low-growing, creeping perennial, speading to six feet. It seems to favor moist soils and part-shade, below 3000' elevation. It is also known as Oregon Tea. My information comes from friends who gather the herb in the wild and from internet searches.


On Mar 10, 2005, eje from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This died on me last year and I'm not quite sure why. It seemed like one day it was fine, (OK, maybe a few aphids,) and the next it was shriveled and dead.

I like the plant a lot, so I'm going to try a couple of them this year in different spots and see how they do.

Satureja Douglasii is a nice trailing herb, which is native to what is now called Yerba Buena Island in the San Francisco Bay. It has a minty smell; but, It is not a mint and is not the same Yerba Buena used in Mojitos. The Spanish Missionaries who arrived at the area around 1775, named it Yerba Buena which means simply "Good Herb". I suspect other missionaries may have done the same thing in other places to other plants.

The city of San Francisco was called "Yerba Buena" until ... read more


On Jun 10, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I thought the Yerba buena was Mentha nemorosa not Satureja douglasii. It is a cousin of the spearmint and the herb used for the "mojito" the most famous Cuban cocktail, although mostly unknown by anglos and hardly known in the states except where Cubans congregate.

it is a refreshing rum and lime spritzer and the unique flavor is due to the bruised yerbabuena.

Cuban Mojito
Yields 1 serving

3 sprigs yerbabuena (or spearmint) - 10-12n leaves
1 Tablespoons sugar or to taste
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 ounces light rum
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup club soda
Sprig or yerbabuena for garnish

strip the leaves and place in bottom of a large highball glass. Add the sugar and lime ju... read more