The generic name of the plant is "Mountain tea" but in Pieria and generally in the area of Greek Macedonia is also known as "Olympus Tea". However, its scientific name is "sideritis scardica". The Greek Mountain tea is a perennial plant belonging to the family Lamiaceae, and Sideritis genus, comprising 140 species.
It blooms from June to September; it belongs to aromatic and medicinal plants (herb). It has simple or branched stem, square, slightly woody at the base. The leaves are lanceolate, intact or slightly serrated, villous or coated by a fine, woolly layer of microscopic intertwined hairs the lower ones petiolate and the upper ones sessile. The flower petals are bright yellow. The cap is rather bell-shaped, covered with dense hair and ends in teeth. The Olympus Tea has been one of the top quality teas since antiquity, veritable nectar of the gods.
It prefers rocky limestone soils. It grows in cracks or cavities particularly in the limestone rocks where there is little soil but also in land full of limestone gravel and generally speaking in rocky areas, either individually or in plant communities. It is found uncultivated on Mt Olympus in an altitude from 1400 to 2000 m and natural populations of it are commonly found on sunny, rocky, steep slopes.
As a cultivated plant it is tough to climatic conditions since it can withstand very low temperatures without particular demands on soil conditions; it thrives best at moderate synthesis calcareous, alkaline or neutral ph (6,0 - 8,0) soils.