Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 3
June 2007
Ornamental Herbs

The dried leaves of marjoram are commonly known as the spice oregano. Throw out old, garden-variety marjoram and bring in the new flowering and colored-foliage varieties. They are gorgeous and edible!


Oregano varieties
Different types of oregano.

Origanum laevigatum 'Herrenhausen' (ornamental oregano)
  Fine green leaves mottled with burgundy complement the masses of pink flowers.

O. l. 'Hopley's Purple', 'Pilgrim'
  Mounds of small, green leaves are covered in pink blossoms.

O. l. 'Marshall's Memory'
  Chartreuse growth early in the season darkens to green just in time to be smothered in dark-pink blooms.

O. prismaticum (Greek oregano)
  Lovely, deep-green, fuzzy leaves look good next to golden-foliage varieties. (See plant on the right in the photo above.)

O. vulgare 'Aureum' (golden oregano)
  Bright, golden foliage has hints of red in the fall, and pale-pink flowers. (See yellow-green plant running through center in photo above.)

Plectranthus amboinicus (false oregano, also called Spanish thyme or Cuban oregano)
  This annual is not in the oregano family, but shares many of the same chemicals that give oregano its refreshing flavor. Grow it in containers for its beautiful, soft-fuzzy leaves. (See plant at top center in the photo above.)

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