Marjorum Origanum majoranum


Marjorum Origanum majoranum © Ita McCobb

Marjorum Latin name

Origanum majoranum/Origanum hortensis

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Origanum majoranum Common name

Marjorum/Sweet Marjorum/Knotted marjoram/French marjorum

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Marjorum description

Marjorum and Organo belong to the same plant family (Origanum) and are popular in cooking in most Mediterranean-style cuisines. Marjorums are usually used fresh whereas Origanos are usually used dried. Their leaves are traditionally used as a flavouring for tomato pulp spread on pizza dough, Bolognese sauce, in marinades for lamb and furred game, roasts and as flavouring for oils and vinegar. It is also good used sparingly when cooking marrow or potatoes.

Category: Herbs

Type: Aromatic perennials or sub-shrubs

Height: 50 cm

Spread: Indefinite

Leaves: Oval, aromatic green leaves

Flowers/berries: Tiny white flowers in knot-like whorls .

Normally grown for: Aromatic and culinary uses

Notes: Don't overwater especially in Winter.

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Main Marjorum/Origanum varieties

There are several varieties of Marjorum while generally speaking the dividing line between the definitions of Marjorum and Origano is somewhat fuzzy, Marjorums add a stronger flavouring to food.

Marjorum/Sweet Marjorum/Knotted marjoram/French marjorum Origanum majoranum – The most commonly grown cooking variety.

Savoury pot Origanum onites –A hardy perennial with shades of pink to purple flowers and green very aromatic leaves that form a mat in Winter. Best grown from cuttings.

Wild marjorum Origanum vulgare – Better known as Oregano it comes in many varieties here are a few:

  • Oregano Origanum vulgare with clusters of tiny tubular mauve flowers in Summer and dark green hairy leaves that are more aromatic when grown in the heat of the Mediterranean than in an English country garden;
  • Greek origano (Rigani) Origanum vulgare hirtum has clusters of tiny tubular white flowers in Summer and grey green hairy leaves;
  • Golden marjorum Origanum vulgare 'Aureum' has clusters of tiny tubular pink and mauve flowers in Summer and golden, slightly hairy aromatic leaves that work well cooked with vegetables;
  • Golden curly marjorum Origanum vulgare 'Aureum crispum' has clusters of tiny tubular pink/mauve/white flowers in Summer and small, crinkled, golden, slightly hairy aromatic leaves with a mild sweet taste that work well cooked with vegetables;
  • Compact marjorum Origanum vulgare 'Compactum' is approx half size of most Origanos and has large pink flowers in Summer and small green aromatic leaves that form a mat in Winter;
  • Gold tipped/Gold splashed marjorum Origanum vulgare 'Gold tip' has small pink flowers in Summer and variegated green and yellow aromatic leaves that have a mild savoury flavour – needs full sun to maintain variegated leaves;
  • Dwarf marjorum Origanum vulgare 'Nanum' is a very compact bush ideal for containers, approx one third size of most Origanos and has white/pink flowers in Summer and tiny green aromatic leaves.

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Marjorum food value

Most fresh Marjorum leaves contain high levels of vitamin C and exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.

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Marjorum Planting preferences

Hardiness: Fully to frost hardy depending on specific variety.

Soil type: Well-drained alkaline soil

Planting situation: Full sun

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Marjorum Uses






Walls – perfect to overhang low walls

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