Origanum vulgare subsp. gracile

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 7 Professionals
Common Name: Russian oregano
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Kyrgyzstan
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to October
Bloom Description: White to pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Trim plants before flowering to encourage foliage growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This common oregano is an herb that is grown almost exclusively for culinary use. A rhizomatous, sprawling plant which typically grows to 18" tall with a similar spread. Features pungently aromatic, flavorful, oval, dark green leaves (to 1" long) which are commonly used in cooking as a seasoning. Leaves may be clipped fresh as needed or dried for year-round use. Best leaf flavor usually occurs just prior to flowering, but the quality of flavor can vary considerably from plant to plant. Tiny, white to rosy pink flowers appear in loose, terminal or axillary spikes throughout the summer.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot can be a problem, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils.

Garden Uses

Primarily grown in the herb or vegetable garden. If ornamental value is the primary consideration as opposed to culinary use, there are a number of Origanum hybrids and O. vulgare cultivars which display showier flowers and/or more colorful foliage (e.g., see O. 'Herrenhausen' or O. 'Rosenkuppel').