susansflowers

garden ponderings


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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.

Cilantro Flowers

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Cilantro Flowers

Cilantro leave are used in Mexican and Asian cooking. When the flowers go to seed, the name changes to Coriander, which is used in various Asian culinary circles as a whole or finely ground seed.

Lately we’ve been using lots of cilantro as a garnish for fish tacos, yum-yum. The plants have been reseeding themselves in an area in the garden for a few years. A very distinct and intriguing aroma is released by merely touching the plants.

At a pot-luck recently, I had a cilantro salad dressing, made with lemon juice and olive oil.  It was so tasty, I keep on making variations that go with all of my salads.