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Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum

Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum



About this cultivar:

Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum is also know as Greek Oregano and is one of the most popular culinary herbs. It is the standard culinary oregano that is most commonly commercially marketed in dry form for spice racks.

As a garden ornamental it's attractive, forming clumps upright stems of furry (‘hirtum’ means hairy ) leaves, topped with tussles of tiny white flowers. The blooms are best looking when they first appear early in summer and can be used for scented bouquets, or even dried for dry flower arrangements.

Unsurprisingly, given its name, Greek oregano is very tolerant of hot dry weather tho it will do in most places. Try a pot by the back door so you can use some in the kitchen!

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade
  • Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
  • Flowers: July, August, September, October
  • Other features: Bees and Butterflies, Scented
  • Hardiness: H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C), Fully hardy, grows well in Ballyrobert
  • Habit: Clump forming, bushy
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Height: 30 - 45 cm (1 - 1.5 ft)
  • Spread: 30 - 45 cm (1 - 1.5 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Colour: Green, white
  • Goes well with: --

About this genus:

Origanum (or-ig-a-num) gets its name from the Greek oros, a mountain, and ganos, beauty; the usual habit and attractiveness of these plants. Legend has it that Aphrodite created the sweet, spicy scent of its leaves as a symbol of happiness. Origanum are all aromatic, no surprise as they are in the mint family...but not all are edible. Of the 20 or so species, the best known are Origanum vulgare (culinary oregano) and Origanum majorana (Majoram). However, there are also several oreganos that are grown primarily for ornamental appeal. Like most mint family members, Origanum is rabbit-resisitant and beloved by a fascinating array of beneficial insects.

Origanum plants are low growing, drought-tolerant perennials, topped with small blue or purple flowers in summer that attract butterflies. We have found some cultivars that perform in our damp-clay conditions and they should be for sale here. Oreganos are perfect for growing along a path, in an herb garden or cascading over a wall.