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Marjoram, Sweet

(Origanum majorana)


A low spreading, tender perennial with fuzzy, pale green, round 1/2" — 1" leaves and erect reddish stems. The flower spike is a knot-like cluster of three to five white to pink flowers. The roots of the plant spread to form a dense clump and can become rampant in the garden.


The plants grow best in rich, moist soil in full sun. Marjoram can be grown from seed, but the seed is slow to germinate. It is best to divide a parent plant, or purchase established plants from a garden center. It will grow in shade but prefers full sun. The soil should be well-drained.


The leaves of sweet marjoram are used fresh or dried in salads, egg dishes. soups, stews, marinades, dressings, stuffing's, and with vegetables. It combines well with many other herbs and is used with thyme, tarragon, bay, and parsley to make a bouquet garnish. The flower heads can be dried for winter flower arrangements and make a good base material for wreaths.


Marjoram and Oregano were well known in the Roman-Graeco era. The ancient Greeks believed that if Marjoram grew on one's grave, the deceased would enjoy eternal peace and happiness. The word "Oregano" is Greek, derived and translated means "Joy of the Mountain". Oregano was popular in ancient Egypt and Greece as a flavoring for vegetables, wines, meats and fish.