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(savory), a genus of plants of the family Labiatae. The plants are annual and perennial herbs or low subshrubs with entire opposite leaves. The flowers are usually in false whorls in the axils of the top leaves. The stamens are shorter than the corolla. The fruit consists of four nutlike lobes.
There are about 130 species (according to other sources, as many as 200), distributed in the temperate and subtropical belts. The plants usually grow on dry slopes and cliffs. Many species yield essential oil. The USSR has 13 to 15 species, growing mainly in the southern European portion, in the Caucasus, and in Middle Asia. Summer savory (S. hortensis) is grown in the southern European USSR for its essential oil. It is used as a spice for pickling cucumbers and tomatoes. In medicine and perfumery the plant is used as an aromatic admixture. Satureja laxiflora, which grows in the Caucasus, is used as an aromatic for liqueurs and cognacs. The foliage is used as a spice. The plant yields a substantial amount of nectar. Winter savory (S. montana) is grown as an ornamental.