Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Origanum vulgaris

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origanum vulgaris L.

Etymology

Family

Traditional name

English: Wild Marjoran
German: Oregano gemeiner Dost
Wohlgemut
Italian: Origano, Maggiorana selvatica,
Marum

Used parts

tinct. of plant

Classification

Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Lamiidae / Tubiflorae; Lamiales; Labiatae / Lamiaceae - Mint Family

Keywords

mint-like

Original proving

Description of the substance

Physical Characteristics

Perennial growing to 0.6m by 0.75m . It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees and Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). It is noted for attracting wildlife. We rate it 3 out of 5 for usefulness.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Meadow, Cultivated Beds, Ground Cover.
Cultivar 'Aureum': Meadow, Cultivated Beds, Ground Cover.

Cultivation details

Requires a rather dry, warm, well-drained soil in full sun, but is not fussy as to soil type, thriving on chalk[1, 27]. Prefers slightly alkaline conditions[200]. Tolerates poor soils[24]. Dislikes wet soils[37].

Hardy to about -20°c[187].

Oregano has a long history of culinary and medicinal use and is often cultivated in modern gardens as a culinary herb, there are some named varieties[183, 187, 238, 244]. Plants growing near the sea have the most fragrance[7].

A good companion plant, improving the flavour of nearby plants[201]. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies[5, 30]. A good companion for the cucumber family[14], it is beneficial to all nearby plants[20].

The whole plant has a sweet yet slightly peppery aroma[245].

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

Propagation

Seed - sow early spring at 10 - 13°c and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.

The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring.

Division in March or October. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Basal cuttings of young barren shoots in June. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Scent

Plant: Crushed Dried
The whole plant has a sweet yet slightly peppery aroma[245].
Cultivars
'Compactum'
A low growing variety, it can be used in all the ways the species is used[244].
'Aureum' 'Golden'
Often cultivated as a culinary herb, this is a low-growing form of O. vulgare with leaves that turn very yellow, especially in the spring and early summer[183, K]. It has a mild thyme-like oregano flavour and is much used in Mediterranean cooking[183]. It makes a good ground cover plant[183].