Bible Hyssop, Lebanese Oregano, Syrian Oregano, Za'atar, Zaatar
Origanum syriacum

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Origanum (or-RI-ga-num) (Info)
Species: syriacum (seer-ee-AK-um) (Info)
Synonym:Majorana syriaca
Synonym:Origanum maru

Category:

Annuals

Herbs

Perennials

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pink

Rose/Mauve

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Evergreen

Silver/Gray

Aromatic

Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Hollywood, Florida

Rockville, Maryland

Humble, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:

5
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Mar 31, 2015, Shirrush from Ramat Gan
Israel wrote:

Yes it does grow wild in Israel, but it is nevertheless a protected species. The responsible way to obtain the "Za'athar asli" spice is to grow your own, and plants are commonly on offer in retail nurseries throughout Israel. In the garden, it develops into a sturdy perennial, but root-collar rot is a known hazard: plant it in a well-drained, sunny spot, do not overwater and do not mulch!
Runners are a common occurrence, and they can be used for propagation, but it is quite easy to grow it from seed. I never had any luck with cuttings, but this is the way commercial nurseries do it.

The name Majorana syriaca is now obsolete, and it should be called Origanum syriacum. Most Oregano varieties grown in Israel have some Za'athar DNA, because the researchers at the Ministry... read more

Positive

On Jun 1, 2012, dk_in_md_z7 from North Bethesda, MD wrote:

I think the hardiness data is off for this plant.. I live in a wet (non-mediterrenean) zone 7 in Maryland, and this plant not only has come back every year for about 10 years, but usually stays green in the lower parts all winter. It's seen as low as 5 degrees F in 2009. It is in a open, exposed, non protected location. It gets bigger every year.

Positive

On Jul 31, 2008, absi from Santa Clara, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is also known as Zaatar, or Middle Eastern Oregano (as opposed to Greek Oregano).

Positive

On Oct 29, 2006, B1ZZYL1ZZY from Javea
Spain (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very pretty fuzzy leaves and strong oregano flavour. I love this little herb! Propagated very easily from seeds bought from Horizon Herbs. Should be tolerant of our 10a hardiness zone. First winter will tell. Everyone should try this - it's probably hardier than you think. Keep it on the dry side in winter.

Also known as Za'atar from its use in the herb mix for the Lebanese bread Manakeesh.

Positive

On Nov 17, 2005, udigg from PH
Israel (Zone 10b) wrote:

Grows wild in Israel. Very aromatic and delicious. Main component in the mixture Arab spice called Za'atar.