10 Different Types of Oregano Plants: Their Uses and Benefits (Pictures)

Do you like Italian food? If so, you’ve probably tasted oregano before. Oregano is a popular herb used in Italian cuisine, but it’s also a great addition to other dishes too. There are many different types of oregano, and each has its own unique flavor and set of benefits. In this blog post, we will discuss the 10 most common types of oregano and their uses and benefits.

In this article:

What is oregano?

Oregano is a herb that is commonly used in Italian and Greek cuisine. It has a strong, pungent flavor and can be used fresh or dried. Oregano is also a popular ingredient in many commercial spice blends, such as Italian seasoning.

The name “oregano” comes from the Greek word όρος (oros), meaning “mountain”, and έγκοπτος (egkoptos), meaning “to cut, to divide”. The plant grows in mountainous regions and is often found growing wild on rocky hillsides.

Oregano is a member of the mint family, which includes other herbs such as basil, mint, and rosemary. The plant has oval-shaped leaves that are green in color with a white or purple flower. Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely cultivated around the world.

Facts about oregano plants

Did you know that oregano plants are actually a member of the mint family? They’re closely related to other herbs like basil, thyme, and sage. Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used in cooking for centuries.

The leaves of the plant are what are most commonly used in recipes, but the flowers and stems can also be used. Oregano leaves have a strong, pungent flavor that goes well in a variety of dishes.

Types of Oregano plants

1. Common Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

What is common oregano?

Common oregano, also known as Origanum vulgare, is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. This type of oregano is native to Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa. It has naturalized in many places including North America.

Common oregano grows to be about 20-80 cm (0.79-31.50 inches) tall and has a spread of about 50 cm (19.69 inches).

The leaves are opposite each other on the stem and are elliptical to ovate in shape. The leaf margin is usually serrated with a pointy tip. The flowers of common oregano are white, pink, or purple and they grow in clusters. The oregano plant blooms from June to September.

What are the benefits of common oregano?

Common oregano has many benefits due to its high concentration of antioxidants and phenolic compounds. Some of the potential health benefits include:

-Reducing inflammation

-Boosting immune system

-Antibacterial

-Antifungal

-Antiviral

-Anti-inflammatory

-Analgesic (pain reliever)

How can I use common oregano?

Common oregano can be used in many different ways. It can be used to flavor food, as a decoration, or for its medicinal properties. Some of the most common ways to use common oregano are:

-Sprinkle it on top of pizza or pasta dishes

-Add it to Greek salad or Italian dressing

-Make a homemade oregano oil by steeping the herb in olive oil

-Use it as a dry rub for meats

-Brew a cup of oregano tea

-Add it to a homemade potpourri

What are some of the potential side effects of common oregano?

Although common oregano is generally safe, there are a few potential side effects to be aware of. These include:

-Upset stomach

-Diarrhea

-Heartburn

-Nausea

-Headache

2. Cuban Oregano (Coleus amboinicus)

What is Cuban oregano?

It is a perennial herb in the mint family, native to India and Sri Lanka. The plant has been naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions, including Florida, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Cuban oregano is a popular ingredient in Caribbean cuisine. It is used to flavor soups, stews, sauces, and rice dishes.

Cuban oregano is a tropical plant that prefers warm, humid conditions. It can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12.

The plant can also be grown indoors as a houseplant in a pot. Cuban oregano is not winter-hardy and should be brought indoors or replanted each year.

How to identify Cuban oregano?

Cuban oregano (Coleus amboinicus) is an evergreen perennial that belongs to the mint family. It is native to tropical Africa, but it can be found in other parts of the world as well.

The plant has oval-shaped leaves and white or purple flowers. Cuban oregano can be used fresh or dried in cooking. It has a strong flavor, so it is best to use it sparingly.

When buying Cuban oregano, look for leaves that are dark green and have a strong scent. Avoid leaves that are yellow or brown, as these may be indicative of a poor quality product.

What are the benefits of Cuban oregano?

Some of the benefits of Cuban oregano include its ability to boost the immune system, improve digestion, and relieve respiratory problems.

Additionally, this herb has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that make it effective in treating a variety of conditions. Cuban oregano can be consumed fresh or dried, and is also available in essential oil form.

How can I use Cuban oregano?

Cuban oregano can be used in a number of ways. The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and the plant can also be used to make an essential oil.

Cuban oregano leaves have a strong flavor and are often used as a spice in cooking. They can be added to stews, soups, and sauces, or used to flavor meat and vegetables.

Cuban oregano essential oil is used in aromatherapy and is said to have a number of health benefits.

3. Golden Oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’)

What is golden oregano?

It is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. The plant has small, oval-shaped leaves that are yellow in color. Golden oregano is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used in cooking for centuries. The herb can be used fresh or dried and has a strong flavor that goes well with many dishes.

Golden oregano is a versatile herb that can be used in many different ways. The leaves can be used to make a tea or added to salads.

The herb can also be used to flavor meat and fish dishes. Golden oregano is an easy plant to grow and does not require much care. The plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Golden oregano can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division.

How to identify golden oregano?

Golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’) is a perennial herb in the mint family, with a spreading habit and small, ovate leaves that are golden-yellow in color.

The flowers are white or pale pink and bloom in summer. Golden oregano is native to Europe and Asia, but has been introduced to North America. It is often used as a culinary herb, and can be found in many Italian dishes.

How to grow golden oregano?

Golden oregano is easy to grow and tolerant of poor soil conditions. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. Golden oregano can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division. It is best to start with a young plant from a nursery or garden center. Golden oregano can be harvested throughout the growing season.

To harvest golden oregano, snip off stems that have several inches of growth. Cut the stem back to just above where it joins the main plant. Golden oregano can be used fresh or dried. To dry golden oregano, cut stems that have several inches of growth and hang them upside down in a dark, cool, and well-ventilated space.

How to use golden oregano?

Golden oregano can be used in many different dishes. It goes well with chicken, fish, and vegetables. It can also be used in soups and stews. Golden oregano can be used fresh or dried. When using fresh golden oregano, use it sparingly because it is very strong.

What are the benefits of golden oregano?

Golden oregano has a number of benefits that make it a great addition to any garden. For one, it is very drought tolerant and does not require much water to thrive. It is also relatively pest and disease resistant, making it a low-maintenance plant.

Additionally, golden oregano is known for its ability to attract bees and other pollinators, which can be beneficial to your garden. Finally, the leaves of this plant are edible and can be used in a variety of culinary dishes.

4. Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum ‘Greek’)

What is Greek oregano?

Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare hirtum) is a perennial herb in the mint family with small, ovate-shaped leaves. The name “Greek oregano” can be used to describe both the plant and the culinary herb that comes from it.

Greek oregano is native to temperate climates in the Mediterranean region, including Greece, Italy, and Turkey. It has been naturalized to other parts of Europe as well as North America.

Greek oregano is a hardy plant that can grow up to two feet tall and wide. The leaves are dark green and have a pungent, minty flavor. Greek oregano blooms in the summer with small, white or pink flowers.

The leaves of Greek oregano can be used fresh or dried. When dried, the flavor of the leaves is more concentrated. Greek oregano is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, such as in tomato-based dishes and grilled meats.

How to identify Greek oregano?

Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum) is a perennial herb with a strong, pungent aroma. The leaves are dark green and have a hairy surface.

Greek oregano blooms in the summer with white or pink flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region and grows best in full sun. Greek oregano is a hardy plant and can tolerate drought conditions.

How to grow Greek oregano?

Greek oregano is easy to grow and does not require much care. It can be grown in any well-drained soil. Greek oregano prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division. Greek oregano is a perennial plant and can live for several years.

To grow Greek oregano from seed, sow the seeds in a well-drained soil in full sun. The seeds will germinate in 14-21 days. To propagate by cuttings, take a stem cutting from a mature plant and root it in a well-drained soil. Greek oregano can also be propagated by division. Divide the roots of a mature plant in spring or fall.

What are the benefits of Greek oregano?

Greek oregano is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, and its essential oil is used in aromatherapy.

Some of the benefits of Greek oregano include:

-It is a good source of antioxidants

-It has anti-inflammatory properties

-It can help boost the immune system

-It has antibacterial properties

-It can help improve digestion

5. Italian Oregano (Origanum x majoricum)

What is Italian oregano?

This perennial herb is a member of the mint family, and its leaves can be used fresh or dried. It’s one of the most popular herbs in Italian cuisine, and its robust flavor pairs well with tomatoes, garlic, and other strong flavors.

Italian oregano is a hybrid plant that is believed to have originated in Greece. It is a cross between two other oregano species, Origanum vulgare and Origanum heracleoticum.

This herb is easy to grow in well-drained, sunny soil. It is drought-tolerant and can reach up to 24 inches in height. Italian oregano is also known as hot oregano or pot oregano.

How to identify Italian oregano?

Italian oregano (Origanum x majoricum) is a hybrid plant that is a cross between Origanum vulgare and Origanum onites. It is native to the Mediterranean region.

Italian oregano has oval to heart-shaped leaves that are dark green in color with a purple tinge. The flowers are white or pink in color and the plant has a strong, pungent flavor.

How to use Italian oregano

Italian oregano can be used in a number of ways. It is commonly added to tomato-based dishes, such as pizza and pasta sauce. It can also be used to flavor meat, fish, and vegetables.

Dried Italian oregano can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. To use, simply crumble the leaves and add them to your dish.

What are the benefits of Italian oregano?

Italian oregano is a versatile herb that can be used in many different dishes. It has a strong, pungent flavor that goes well with tomato-based sauces and grilled meats. Additionally, it’s packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.

So, if you’re looking for an herb that can add some flavor to your dishes and also offer some health benefits, Italian oregano is a great option.

6. Mexican Bush Oregano (Poliomintha longiflora)

What is Mexican bush oregano?

Mexican bush oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is a perennial plant in the mint family. It is native to Mexico and Central America.

The plant has square stems and grows to about two feet tall. The leaves are opposite, ovate-shaped, and have a pungent oregano-like smell. The flowers are white or purple and bloom in the summer.

How to identify Mexican bush oregano?

The best way to identify Mexican bush oregano is by its flowers. The plant has small, white or purple flowers that grow in clusters. The leaves of the plant are also aromatic and have a strong oregano-like smell. Mexican bush oregano is native to Mexico and can be found growing in dry, rocky areas.

How to grow Mexican bush oregano:

This herb is a perennial in the mint family that grows to about two feet tall. It has square stems and hairy leaves that are opposite each other on the stem.

The flowers are white or purplish and they bloom in late summer. The plant is native to Mexico but it can be grown in other parts of the world.

To grow Mexican bush oregano, start with a young plant or seedlings. Plant them in well-drained soil in full sun. Water the plants regularly and fertilize them monthly.

When the plants are established, they can tolerate some drought. Harvest the leaves when they are dry and store them in an airtight container. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. Mexican bush oregano can also be used as an ornamental plant.

How to use Mexican bush oregano:

This oregano can be used fresh or dry. Fresh, it has a more delicate flavor than the typical Mediterranean oregano. Dry, it is more pungent and concentrated. It is often used as a spice in Mexican and Southwestern dishes such as salsa, chili con carne, and guacamole.

What are the benefits of Mexican bush oregano?

Mexican bush oregano is a perennial herb that is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. The leaves of this plant are used to make an essential oil that has many benefits.

Mexican bush oregano essential oil can be used to treat respiratory infections, colds, flu, and bronchitis. It can also be used to treat stomach upset, indigestion, and diarrhea.

This essential oil can also be used topically to treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Mexican bush oregano essential oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an effective insecticide.

You can use Mexican bush oregano essential oil to make a homemade insecticide spray by mixing it with water and spraying it on your plants. This essential oil is also effective in repelling mosquitoes. You can make a mosquito repellent spray by mixing Mexican bush oregano essential oil with water and lemon juice.

7. Mexican Oregano (lippia graveolens)

What is Mexican oregano?

Mexican oregano is a perennial herb in the verbena family, native to Mexico and Central America. The plant grows to about two feet tall and has small, white or purple flowers.

The leaves are used fresh or dried for their strong flavor and aroma. Mexican oregano is related to lemon verbena and Spanish oregano, but has a more complex flavor.

How to identify Mexican oregano?

Mexican oregano (lippia graveolens) is a perennial herb in the mint family. It grows to about two feet tall and has square stems with opposite, ovate leaves.

The small white or purple flowers bloom in summer and are followed by tiny black fruits. Mexican oregano is native to Mexico and Central America but is now naturalized in the southern United States.

How to use Mexican oregano?

Mexican oregano can be used fresh or dried. It is often used in combination with other herbs, such as cilantro, garlic, and chili peppers.

Mexican oregano is a common ingredient in salsa, guacamole, mole sauce, and chili con carne. It can also be used to flavor soups, stews, and bean dishes. Mexican oregano can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets.

What are the benefits of Mexican oregano?

This herb is a good source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Mexican oregano also contains carvacrol and thymol.

These compounds have been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Mexican oregano can be used to flavor soups, stews, sauces, and marinades. It can also be used to make tea.

The benefits of Mexican oregano extend beyond its culinary uses. This herb has a long history of use in traditional medicine.

Mexican oregano is traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory infections, and fevers. It is also used as a diuretic and an expectorant.

8. Ornamental Oregano (Origanum sp.)

Source: Etsy

What is ornamental oregano?

Ornamental oregano is a type of plant in the mint family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries as a culinary herb and ornamental plant. The leaves of ornamental oregano are typically green or purple, and the flowers are white or pink.

How to identify ornamental oregano?

Ornamental oregano (Origanum sp.) is a herbaceous perennial plant in the mint family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized in many other places around the world. The leaves are aromatic and have a strong flavor. The flowers are white or pink and bloom in summer.

Ornamental oregano is sometimes confused with marjoram (Origanum majorana), but they are two different plants. Marjoram is a tender perennial and ornamental oregano is a hardy perennial.

You can identify ornamental oregano by its strong flavor, aromatic leaves, and white or pink flowers. It is a hardy perennial plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. If you are confused about whether a plant is ornamental oregano or marjoram, remember that ornamental oregano is a hardy perennial and marjoram is a tender perennial.

How to grow ornamental oregano:

This herbaceous perennial is a member of the mint family, and it’s native to the Mediterranean region. Ornamental oregano is grown for its pretty, colorful leaves and flowers, which bloom in summertime. This plant is easy to grow and care for, and it makes a beautiful addition to any garden.

To grow ornamental oregano, start with a young plant from a garden center or nursery. Plant it in well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Water regularly to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Fertilize every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Pinch back the tips of the plants to encourage bushiness. Deadhead the flowers to keep the plant looking tidy.

Ornamental oregano is generally disease- and pest-free. However, watch out for powdery mildew, which can be a problem in humid climates. With proper care, your ornamental oregano will thrive and provide you with beautiful blooms all summer long.

How to use ornamental oregano?

Ornamental oregano can be used in a variety of ways. It can be planted in the garden as an ornamental plant, or it can be used as a ground cover.

It can also be used in containers, either alone or in combination with other plants. Ornamental oregano is drought tolerant and does not require much care. It can be trimmed back if it gets too large.

Ornamental oregano can also be used in cooking. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. They have a strong flavor and are often used in Italian dishes.

Oregano is also a common ingredient in tomato sauces and pizza sauces. The flowers of ornamental oregano can also be used in salads or as a garnish.

What are the benefits of ornamental oregano?

Ornamental oregano is a beautiful and fragrant herb that can add color and interest to your garden.

This hardy plant is also easy to care for, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners alike. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, ornamental oregano also offers a number of benefits for your health and wellbeing.

Some of the most notable benefits of ornamental oregano include:

-Boosting immunity: Ornamental oregano is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help to protect your body against disease-causing free radicals.

-Improving digestion: The herb can also help to improve digestion and relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as bloating and gas.

-Reducing inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of ornamental oregano may help to reduce swelling and pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

-Alleviating respiratory problems: Ornamental oregano can also be used to treat respiratory problems such as colds, flu, and bronchitis.

9. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

What is sweet marjoram?

It is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. It is native to Cyprus and southern Turkey. The plant has oval-shaped leaves and produces small, white flowers. Sweet marjoram has a sweet, slightly spicy flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in many dishes.

How to identify sweet marjoram?

Sweet marjoram is a perennial herb that grows to about 24 inches (60 cm) tall. The leaves are opposite, oblong-elliptic, and pale green with a minty smell. The flowers are white and borne in clusters. Sweet marjoram is native to the Mediterranean region.

How do you grow sweet marjoram?

Sweet marjoram is a perennial herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It grows to about 24 inches tall and has small, oval-shaped leaves that are gray-green in color. The flowers are white or pale pink and bloom in the summertime. Sweet marjoram prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

What are the benefits of sweet marjoram?

Sweet marjoram has a number of health benefits. It can help to relieve stomach cramps and gas, and is also a good digestive aid. Sweet marjoram can also help to ease headaches and tension.

This herb has antimicrobial properties, which makes it a good choice for treating colds and flu. Sweet marjoram is also a good expectorant, helping to clear congestion from the chest.

10. Syrian Oregano (Origanum syriacum)

What is Syrian oregano?

Syrian oregano (Origanum syriacum) is a plant in the mint family. It is native to Syria and Lebanon. The leaves and flowers of Syrian oregano are used to make medicine.

Syrian oregano is used for digestion problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, diarrhea, bloating, and loss of appetite.

It is also used for respiratory tract disorders such as coughs, colds, bronchitis, andflu. Syrian oregano is sometimes applied directly to the skin for joint pain, muscle pain, and toothaches.

How to identify Syrian oregano?

Syrian oregano (Origanum syriacum) is a perennial herb in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to Syria and Lebanon. The plant grows to 20-30 cm (0.79-11.81 in) tall with opposite, ovate leaves that are hairy on both surfaces.”

The flowers are white or pink and borne in summer.

How to grow Syrian oregano?

Syrian oregano grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant and can withstand temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius. To propagate, take stem cuttings in spring or summer and root in moist sand.

What are the benefits of Syrian oregano?

Syrian oregano has a long history of use in herbal medicine. The herb is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used traditionally to treat various ailments including colds, flu, stomach upset, and skin conditions.

Recent studies have shown that Syrian oregano contains compounds with potent antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may explain why the herb has been used historically to treat a wide variety of ailments.

Syrian oregano is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage and may reduce your risk of some chronic diseases. The herb also contains compounds that have been shown to boost the immune system, fight inflammation, and improve gut health.

Syrian oregano is available in dried form, as an essential oil, or as a supplement. You can also find the herb in some natural cold and flu remedies. The best way to take Syrian oregano is to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dose for your needs.

FAQs about Oregano

Which oregano is the strongest?

There are many different types of oregano, and each one has a different level of potency. The two most common types of oregano are Greek oregano and Italian oregano.

Greek oregano is typically more potent than Italian oregano, but there are also other factors that can affect the strength of an oregano.

Some oregano is wildcrafted, meaning it is harvested from its natural habitat. Wildcrafted oregano is usually more potent than cultivated oregano because it has not been domesticated and bred to be less potent.

The climate in which the oregano grows can also affect its potency. Oregano that grows in a hot, dry climate will be more potent than oregano that grows in a cool, moist climate.

What’s the difference between Greek oregano and Italian oregano?

There are actually quite a few differences between Greek oregano and Italian oregano. For starters, Greek oregano is a lot more pungent than its Italian counterpart.

It also has a sharper, more bitter taste. Additionally, Greek oregano contains more oil than Italian oregano, which gives it that strong, distinctive flavor.

What is the difference between Italian and Mexican oregano?

Italian oregano is a member of the mint family, while Mexican oregano is a member of the citrus family. They have different tastes, with Italian oregano being more pungent and Mexican oregano having a sweeter taste.

The two herbs also differ in their appearance, with Italian oregano being smaller and more delicate in appearance than Mexican oregano.

When it comes to cooking, Italian oregano is often used in tomato-based dishes, while Mexican oregano is used more commonly in bean and cheese dishes.

Both herbs can be used fresh or dried, but they should be added at different times in the cooking process. Italian oregano should be added towards the end of cooking, while Mexican oregano should be added at the beginning.

Are all oregano types edible?

No, not all oregano types are edible. Some oregano varieties, such as Origanum vulgare, are safe to eat, while others, like Origanum herrenhausen, are not. It is important to know which type of oregano you have before consuming it.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! These are the three most common types of oregano plants. As you can see, they all have different uses and benefits. So, if you’re ever in need of a little oregano flavor, be sure to pick the right plant for the job! Thanks for reading.