garden ponderings

Oregano, Mexican and Greek


Oregano, GreekOregano, Mexican

While both of these oregano plants look similar in the photos they have big differences.  The first photo is Greek oregano, which is low growing like a groundcover.  When Mexican oregano comes into bloom, the flower stems shoot up over a foot high.  While various bees like lavender and germander flowers, moths are especially attracted to the Mexican oregano.  I remember catching these moths when I was a kid (it is not hard to pinch the wings together when they are fully open).

In the culinary field, low-growing Greek oregano seems to me to have a stronger aroma and potency.  I recently acquired a small Italian oregano plant, that has yet to flower.  Have not yet done a taste comparison with the three varieties of oregano either.

I like using all of the oregano plants in the landscape, as they have some strong assets, besides their good looks.  They are deer and drought resistant.  The flowers are a pretty addition to a summer bouquet, but not over-powering in their scent.  While the Greek oregano flowers are good for very small vases, the Mexican variety is a nice accent for mid-size flower arrangements.


Author: susanpots

potter, gardener of flowers and vegies

6 thoughts on “Oregano, Mexican and Greek

  1. I grow two types of oregano also, but somewhere between the planting and harvesting have forgotten which one was which…so like me! Your pictures will help me, IF they begin to flower. Here’s hoping they come into bloom and I will remember which is what type.

    • My knowledge is limited, but what I know as Mexican oregano grows about 2 feet high when it is flowering. The Greek oregano is more of a groundcover, which gets about 6 inches high when flowering. The flavor of the Greek oregano is much more intense than the Mexican. We did our taste tests on home-made pizza!

  2. I just have Italian oregano, I think. It is very overgrown, flowering, and spreading itself around, but works well in my recipes. I have not tasted the other varieties. I have not noticed moths in the oregano, but will have to look closer.

  3. Their is a plant i am after it’s Mexican you can grow it in this country, and when it seeds you can replant these seeds and they turn into micro greens i thought it might be a Dahlia which are edible leaves but i have forgotten the name of this species PLEASE HELP ME FROM RACKING MY BRAIN
    it had a funny name it’s beyond me not giving up yet.

    • Would you be thinking of cilantro? It is a green herb that will go to seed quickly when it is hot. It is used in Mexican and Asian cooking.
      Very distinctive and flavorful.

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