Yerba buena – Clinopodium douglasii

Mint Family – Lamiaceae

Actual flower size: 1/2 inch long

Actual flower size: 1/2 inch long

Yerba Buena is also known as Oregon-tea. Older Latin names for Yerba Buena are Satureja Douglasii and Micromeria douglasii.

Plant Description: Yerba Buena has  stems that are up to 36 inches long, creeping, somewhat woody, and frequently rooted at nodes. The leaves are opposite, 1 inch long, oval, deeply veined, green above, purplish below, usually with a few blunt teeth.

Flower Description: A single, 1/2 inch long flower grows from the leaf axils. The flowers are usually white, but can be pale blue-lavender or pink. The two upper lobes are up-right. The 3 lobes of the lower lip are wavy-edged and almost equal in size.  The flower has a hairy throat and four stamens, 2 short and 2 long. Both kinds of stamen have double anthers which become dark crimson.

Ecology: Yerba Buena grows in open, coniferous woods at lower to middle elevations.


  • Yerba Buena has a scent reminiscent of spearmint and is used to make tea and for medicinal purposes.
  • It was named the “Good Plant” by early Spanish priests in California.

Yerba Buena Photo Gallery

Photo Information:  #1359. #1358, #1903 and #1907 were taken on July 3, 2012 on the Whisky Jack Trail, Elwha River, US 101, Port Angeles WA.

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