The word Oregano is derived from the Greek oros, meaning ‘mountain’ and ganos, meaning ‘joy’ and ‘beauty’, how right. This is the most wonderful group of plants that not only look stunning at this time of year but are also useful in the kitchen and very beneficial for bees and butterflies.
The leaves of this herb have a wonderful rounded flavour and a tea can be made from the leaves to ease an upset stomach. Sadly this oregano, is now endangered in the wild. To grow it in the UK you must plant it in a very well drained soil as otherwise our wet winters will cause it to rot.
Another wonderful oregano in this group is Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’ much beloved by bees.
These amazing bracts which surround the small flowers turn an even deeper shade of pink as the flowers fade.
The bracts dry beautifully making them ideal for dried flower arrangements and a wonderful Christmas presents for friends.
This oregano I found as a seedling growing along side Origanum dictamnus. I propagated it and found that it ran true from cuttings so named it Origanum ‘Jekka’s Beauty’. The leaves of this oregano are also hairy, just like O. dictamnus, and they also have a good culinary flavour.
With all these special, beautiful, Oregano’s it is essential to cut them back hard after flowering so that they make a new crown of leaves which will then help the plant survive the winter months. You will then be rewarded with a spectacular display in the following summer.