Oregano (Wild Marjoram)

Oreganum Vulgare

Oregano or Oreganum Vulgare belongs to mint family and is a flowering plant which is related to the herb Marjoram.It is thus sometimes referred to as Wild Marjoram. 

The name of the herb comes from  Greek words  “Oros” meaning mountain and “Ganos” meaning joy or beauty. The Greeks described Oregano as joy of mountain ormountain beauty.

This is a aromatic , ancientculinary herb (used in coocking but distinct from spices) originated from hilly Greek countryside and now grown all over the world. It has pungent , spicy, slightly bitter flavor and it pairs well with almost every vegetable.

Scientific Classification 

Kingdom – Plantae
Sub kingdom – Tracheobionata (Vascular plant)
Super division – Spermatophyta (seed plant)
Division –  Mangoliophyta (flowering plant)
Class –  Mangoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Order – Lamiales
Family – Lamiaceae (mint family)
Genus – Origanum
Species – Vulgare
Scientific Name : Oreganum Vulgare

 


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Botanical Description

Oregano has two main categories :

  • Mediterranean
  • Mexican

The main difference is that  Mediterranean Oregano is a member of mint family and Mexican oregano is a relative to lemon verbena. Their flavors are slightly different but grow in similar manner. This perennial herb grows from 20 – 80 cm tall with spade shaped olive green opposite leaves 1 – 4 cm long and has purple flowers 3 – 4 mm long and are produced in erect spikes

Origin and Distribution of Oreganum Vulgare

Oregano is a native to western and south western Eurasia and Mediterranean region.

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Favourable Conditions for growing Oreganum Vulgare

  • Soil : Oregano grows well in light, well drained and moderately fertile soil, there is no need to add fertilizer or compost. It is a garden anchor that comes back every spring, and the seeds can be planted outdoor six week before the last frost
  • Sun : Oregano grows well in partly or fully sunny area but its flavors intensify when it receives  a full day of sun shine. It also grows well indoors but it is important for the plant to receive adequate heat ,warmth and sun shine in order to grow.
  • Water :   Oregano requires water only when soil is dry to touch, so water the plant whenever required as over watering can be harmful to it.
  • Spacing : Oregano grows up to 2 feet tall and spans about 18 inches across so plant them 10 inches apart in your garden. If you live in high raise apartment or you have limited space you can also plant oregano in a container with about 12 inches of diameter as it is a prolific grower.
  • Companion plant : You don’t need to worry about planting oregano next to something as it is a great companion to almost everything.

[ Natural Pesticides ]

Oregano can be planted alongside tomatoes and peppers as it can keep away tomatoe’s  archenemy and aphids by means of predation. Oregano also attracts syrphidae (flower flies ) which then dine upon small bugs.Aphids actually love oregano. Its thick foliage also provides humidity, which support pepper’s growth.

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