Seeds forum: Seeds for Italian oregano?

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 26, 2016 9:39 AM CST
Can anyone tell me the correct botanical name for Italian oregano - the type you put on pizzas and in sauce? I grew beautiful hardy oregano plants from seed several years back and the leaves taste nothing like oregano as I know it. I'd love to find some seeds.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
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luvsgrtdanes
Jan 26, 2016 10:20 AM CST
This is what I found on a search...

In most kitchens both of these oreganos are used – Origanum vulgare, which is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family and is commonly known as Mediterranean oregano, true oregano, or Greek oregano. The other is Lippia graveolens, or Mexican oregano, a member of the Labiatae family.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jan 26, 2016 11:11 AM CST
Thanks, luvs. My sister had given me some dried Greek oregano which has a much stronger (good) flavor than the dried Italian oregano I get at the grocery store. Age? Maybe. The Origanum family seems so confusing. I do know that the plants I started years ago - O. vulgare - tastes nothing like oregano. I'm already working on acquiring Lippia graveolens.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Feb 10, 2016 2:05 PM CST
I believe the Italian Oregano to be Origanum x majoricum, at least that's what I've learned.

My current most favorite oregano that I grow is Mexican Oregano, Lippia graveolens. It is great on pizza and other Italian dishes. The seeds aren't as easy to find.

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 10, 2016 4:09 PM CST
wild - I've order a Lippia graveolens plant that should arrive in the spring. I've read that seeds are hard to find for that. And as for the Greek oregano, I'm starting some seeds of Origanum vulgare hirtum but have also ordered a plant of Origanum heracleoticum just in case.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Feb 10, 2016 5:28 PM CST
I think you will be happy with L graveolens. Smiling My plant makes seed pods but I never can find the seeds! Either they are very tiny or maybe it takes a special pollinator that isn't around? Not sure. I keep my plant in a pot outdoors but bring it into the garage (since I don't have a greenhouse) over winter.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 10, 2016 6:25 PM CST
I'll probably have to plant my Lippia in a pot as well since I'm not sure if it would be hardy for me in zone 5. Hmm - if it doesn't produce many seeds, I wonder if one could take cuttings.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Feb 11, 2016 11:43 AM CST
Yes, it is easy to propagate by cuttings. Thumbs up The plant is woody so the new green growth is best for propagating.

I think it's a cold tender perennial, so I feel safer keeping in a pot and bringing it in over winter.
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 11, 2016 12:09 PM CST
Good to know about propagating with cuttings. And thanks for the advice on keeping it in a pot so that it can come indoors over winter.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 25, 2016 2:29 PM CST
Update: I had to thin the seedlings of Origanum vulgare hirtum and I could get the scent of a desired oregano. Too early to tell if this would be comparable to Greek oregano (which is more intense) or Italian oregano but I am on the right track.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Feb 25, 2016 4:36 PM CST
I glad you posted, Shade. I'm growing Origanum vulgare and Origanum x majoricum from seed this year too. Excited to find a new best flavor. Smiling

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 25, 2016 4:45 PM CST
I still have a plant coming in the spring of O. heracleoticum which is supposed to be a Greek oregano. And, of course, the Mexican oregano Lippia graveolens. I should be in culinary heaven. Smiling
Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Feb 25, 2016 8:30 PM CST
Shadegardener said:Good to know about propagating with cuttings. And thanks for the advice on keeping it in a pot so that it can come indoors over winter.


I grow all my oregano from cuttings. You can even root fresh oregano cuttings from the grocery store. I do that a lot. If I buy fresh oregano (or fresh thyme, rosemary or sage), I don't use the top few leaves on each stem. I then cut the bottom on a bias across the lowest leaf node and put it in some rooting media. When you do this, you know the flavor of what you are rooting.

Origanum vulgare is the classic Mediterranean oregano. Origanum majorana is known as "marjoram" and has a milder, more floral flavor. There's also many other similar herbs in the origanum genus, many with common names that are some type of oregano (Cretan oregano, Greek oregano, pot oregano, etc.).
In my experience, seeds in this genus are often mystery seeds, and lot of nursery plants in the oregano family are also mislabeled. Taste before you buy.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 26, 2016 7:53 AM CST
Common - thanks for the info! I never thought about starting oregano plants from cuttings. Sadly, in my neck of the woods, any fresh herbs (when I can find them) in the grocery store are pretty pathetic. I wouldn't even use them to cook with. Your post has reminded me that I need to start/purchase some thyme plants. I had some pot-grown plants started from seed and moved them to a small garden bed where they weren't happy and dwindled away.

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