From the same genus as true marjoram (O. marjorana), this aromatic herb native to Eurasia has often been confused with the latter and has common names that illustrate this close relationship: bastard marjoram, wild marjoram and perennial marjoram. Unlike marjoram, its oval leaves have a distinct petiole. Their size is also greater than that of their relative and their flavor is stronger. Their pungent taste is a wonderful addition to dishes based on tomato sauce, pasta, eggs, meats, fish, eggplant, chili and zucchini.
The perennial plant in zone 4 produces reddish rhizomatous stems with a woody base that spread up to 60 cm wide and stand 25 to 45 cm high. The whole forms a small bush with a bushy habit adorned with panicles of pinkish-purple flowers, sometimes pale pink or white, in summer. These inflorescences are used in herbal teas and potpourri.
The cultivation of oregano requires a well-drained area with good air circulation. Leaves and flowers can be harvested as needed throughout the season. Oregano leaves are among the few herbs that gain flavor when dried.
The health effects of oregano are numerous: the thymol it contains helps treat colds, coughs and respiratory problems; in infusion, oregano facilitates digestion and acts as a tonic and diuretic; in gargle, it is used in the treatment of oral infections; in inhalation, it relieves headaches; as a balm or lotion, it relieves muscular and rheumatic pains as well as external injuries. It is also used to relieve painful menstruation, but because of its stimulating effect on the uterus, it is contraindicated during pregnancy.
Number of days to harvest: 85 to 90