Marjoram and organo

Origanum sp. Lamiaceae

The Greeks called these fragrant-leafed herbs "Brightness of the Mountain." and it is impossihl^^ to imagine the cuisines of the Mediterranean and Aegean without their strong, warm aromatic taste.

Parts used Leaves, flowers

Origanum is a genus that is fraught with taxonomic difficulties, and there are more than 30 species from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Confusingly, marjoram and oregano are common names that are often used interchangeably. Sweet or knot marjoram (0. marjorana syn. Marjorana hortensis) has gray-green leaves with a mouthwatering fragrance. Although usually treated as an annual, it is a short-lived perennial in mild climates. A hardier hybrid, 0. x marjoricum, may be sold incorrectly as 'Italian Oregano.' Spartan oregano (0. minutiflorum) is frequently included in dried oregano mixes from Turkey. It resembles a diminutive gray-leafed sweet marjoram

that has undergone relaxation therapy. Pot marjoram or Turkish oregano (0. onites) is a quite cold-tender, strongly aromatic species from Greece. Selections of 0. vuigare are often incorrectly sold under this name. Common oregano (0. vuigare) contains six subspecies. 0. vuigare subsp. vuigare is the mild-flavored wild marjoram with clustered heads of pink flowers and deep burgundy bracts that attract bees, but lacks any appreciable flavor. It is often sold as oregano. Cultivars of 0. vuigare subsp. vuigare include the very attractive golden oregano, 'Aureum,' sometimes sold as 'golden marjoram,' which makes a superb aromatic groundcover for full sun,

Za'atar is an Arabic term for a number of aromatic herbs, often varying according to the region and also the local flora. While the term most often refers to origanums, za'atar species also include conehead thyme (Thymbra capiiaia). za'atar hommar (T. spicaia). true thyme (Thymus sp.) and Saturcja species such as S. cuneifolia and S. ihymbra. The seasoning mixture called 'za'atar' usually includes toasted sesame seeds and coarse salt, and is used on vegetable and meal dishes and also sprinkled on bread liefore baking.

Sweet marjoram

I Origanum marjorana. left) and — common oregano (Origanum vuigare)

and 'Jim Best,' which is a vigorous gold and green variegated variety. 0 pulchellum is a name attached to forms of 0. vuigare with purple bracts.

Greek oregano (0. vuigare subsp. hirtum) has a deliciously strong fragrance. The very mildly aromatic 0. vuigare subsp. virens and 0. vuigare subsp. viridulum are both called wild marjoram. Lebanese oregano, Syrian hyssop or white oregano (0. syriacum) forms a tender perennial subshrub with gray-green foliage. Ezov, the biblical hyssop, was almost certainly 0. syriacum. A hybrid with 0. vuigare, sold as 0. maru, has greater cold resistance. Russian oregano (0. vuigare subsp. gracile) has an aroma that is similar to Greek oregano.

Algerian oregano (0. vuigare subsp. glandulosum) is rarely seen outside its native land but is a good culinary herb. Ornamental origanums Many species and hybrids of Origanum are grown simply for their beauty and fragrance. They include 'Herrenhausen,' 'Country Cream,' the aromatic and strangely beautiful Dittany of Crete (0. dictamnus) and 0. creticum, a very aromatic species, the source of the essential oil oleum origani.

• Position Origanum species are found ¡n the wild in sunny, well-drained and often stony places. They thrive in full sun and are stronger flavored if grown with tough love.

• propagation Raise the species from seed in spring, and ornamental varieties by cuttings.

• Maintenance Once the plants are established, do not overwater them. Cut back old growth in spring.

• Pests and diseases Origanums are very resistant to both.

• Harvesting and storing You can harvest the foliage fresh but the flavor is enhanced if you dry it in bunches in a dark, dry, warm, well-ventilated place for several days. When dry and crisp, rub the leaves off the stems and store in an airtight container.

Continue reading here: Herbal medicine

Was this article helpful?

0 0