Greek Oregano

Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum Lamiaceae

Other names

Winter Marjoram

Growth habit

Dwarf Shrub


Long-lived perennial

Native distribution

Europe, W Asia, N Africa

Biocultural value

Oils in the leaves contain high quality oregano flavor.


Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant

Richters, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Well-Sweep Herb Farm, Sandy Mush Herb Nursery, Sunnybrook Farms Nursery


A woody perennial with stems 10 to 100cm long, usually ascending and rooting at the bases. Leaves are up to 45 pairs per stem, stalked to almost stalkess, egg-shaped, oval, or roundish, tapering to the apex to blunt, 6 to 40mm long, 5 to 30mm wide, with moderately coarse and stiff hairs or with long, soft, straight hairs to hairless, sometimes coverered with a bluish waxy covering, stalkless glands hardly visible to very conspicuous, margins smooth or remotely small-toothed. Flower spikes are 3 to 35mm long, 2 to 8 mm wide. Bracts are two to 25 pairs per spike; egg shaped and attached at the narrow end to egg-shaped or oval; more or less tapering to the apex or pinched; 2 to 11 mm long, 1 to 7 mm wide; coated with fine hairs; densely coated with short, soft, straight hairs or hairless; (partly) purple, green or yellowish green, sometimes glaucous. Flowers almost stalkless. Calyces are 2.5 to 4.5mm long, outside coated with fine hairs, coated with short, soft, straight hairs, or smooth. Corollas are 3-11mm long, purple, pink, or white; outside coated with short, soft, straght hairs; upper lips divided for about 1/5 into 2 long lobes; lower lips divided for about 1/5 into three somewhat unequal lobes.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

other ethnobotanical uses, food