Clinopodium (Satureja) douglasii, Yerba Buena, is a creeping perennial herb that grows primarily in northern and central California, barely extending into southern California and the Channel Islands. It tends to grow at elevations below 3000 feet. It was formerly so common in the Bay Area that San Francisco was initially called Yerba Buena. The plant’s appearance could best be described as delicate, with tiny leaves on very slender stems that creep along the ground. It does not have rhizomes but roots itself as it spreads. The leaves and flowers have a lovely fragrance and are both edible. The leaves make a great tea. It does best in a moderately moist woodland setting where summers are cool and there is moisture from fog drip. Also looks good in a rock garden climbing around boulders. Be careful to not let it get covered up by mulch or larger plants.
Sun: Full Shade, Part Shade
Summer Irrigation: Max 1x / week once established
Ease of Care: Very Easy
Cold Tolerance: Tolerates cold to 5°F
Soil Drainage: Fast, Medium, Slow
Soil Description: Adaptable. Soil PH: 6.0 – 8.0
Common uses: Groundcovers, Deer Resistant
Companion Plants: Trees – Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus), Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata), Oak (Quercus species), Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica) Shrubs and herbs – Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis or guttatus), Duglas Iris (Iris douglasiana), Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya farinosa) and Pacific Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium).
Maintenance: Encourage branching by light pruning
Sunset Zones: 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*
Site Type: Coastal woodland, shady, moist areas
Climate: Annual Precipitation: 12.6″ – 117.4″
View Calflora for more information
Pick -up of purchased plants will be Saturday, November 7, from 9 am to noon at the CNPS pick-up location off of Broad St in San Luis Obispo. (Note: there is no actual address for this location. It is at the East end of Francis Street in San Luis Obispo, behind Rizzoli’s Auto Repair. Please park on Francis St. while picking up plants.) A sign will be posted on the street. GPS coordinates for Pick-up location: Lat: 35.266967 degrees, Long: -120.651302 degrees. Please only place your order if you are able to pick up your plants on November 7, from 9 am to noon. There are no options for other pickup times or dates, or shipping of these live plants.