(Wild Middle-Eastern Oregano, Ezov, Majorana syriaca)
Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
Hardiness: 20 degrees F
Woody perennial native to the Middle East. This is a spicy smelling and tasting oregano-like herb that is the keystone herb in the condiment of the same name, which is used quite frequently by people living in the Middle east. You mix the dried and powdered herb with various other ingredients--garlic, salt, olive oil, crushed sumac seeds, etc and use it on bread. Quite delicious and habit forming in a good way. Zaatar is one of the sources of the antiseptic essential oil known as carvacrol, which (along with other terpenoids such as thymol) inhibits several kinds of nasty bacteria (e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by eroding the bacterial cell wall. Plant prefers full sun and sandy, fast-draining soil. Makes an abundant crop of leaves in the first growing season. Make sure to harvest in the first year of growth as the overwintering of this plant is never a sure thing.
50 Seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown
From a gardening friend: "I wanted to send you additional confirmation that your source of Zaatar is authentic. I bought some plants for a friend who grew up as a goat herder on one of Israel's first settlement kibbutzim and he was familiar with the herb and its prevalent use among the Palestinians. I watched expectantly as he brushed the leaves and inhaled. He lifted his head, gave a knowing smile and said, "It smells like the Holy Land"."