Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

One vendor has this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

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


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

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:
Unknown - Tell us

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Shirrush
Thumbnail #1 of Origanum syriacum by Shirrush

By Shirrush
Thumbnail #2 of Origanum syriacum by Shirrush

By Shirrush
Thumbnail #3 of Origanum syriacum by Shirrush

By Shirrush
Thumbnail #4 of Origanum syriacum by Shirrush

By Shirrush
Thumbnail #5 of Origanum syriacum by Shirrush

By Shirrush
Thumbnail #6 of Origanum syriacum by Shirrush


5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Shirrush 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 of Agriculture thought it was a good idea to adapt Oregano to the local conditions, so Israeli Oregano should not be propagated from seed since the offspring is likely to be rather different from the hybrid parent plant.
I collected Za'athar seeds in the wild, so I am quite sure that I have the real thing.

Positive dk_in_md_z7 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 absi 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 B1ZZYL1ZZY 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 udigg 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.


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

Hollywood, Florida
Rockville, Maryland
Humble, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America