Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False Oregano
Lippia micromera

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lippia (LIP-pee-uh) (Info)
Species: micromera (my-kroh-MER-a) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By ilima
Thumbnail #1 of Lippia micromera by ilima

By ilima
Thumbnail #2 of Lippia micromera by ilima

By Floridian
Thumbnail #3 of Lippia micromera by Floridian

By psharboneaux
Thumbnail #4 of Lippia micromera by psharboneaux


6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MikeBrown On Mar 2, 2015, MikeBrown from San Diego, CA wrote:

I received some cuttings from a plant called "Jamaican Oregano" which grew into plants. These plants develop long branch/vine types of growth on which the leaves grow. The leaves look like oregano and taste and smell like oregano. My wife and daughter said the taste was over powering. I cut back on the amount but my daughter could still taste it as being strong. The type I have grows blue/lavender flowers out on the end of the branch. It is out doors all year and needs water during the summer. I live in San Diego, CA.

Positive psharboneaux On May 13, 2012, psharboneaux from La Porte, IN wrote:

Lippia micromera is what most people in Puerto Rico know as oregano. In Puerto Rican Spanish it is also called Orégano del País (Native Oregano) to identify it from the imported or real oregano (Origanum vulgare). In cultivation, the only type you can find is the white blooming kind, though in the wild you can also find a pink form. The last time I saw this last type was while hiking through the Guánica Dry Forest Reserve, many years ago.

Lippia micromera grows best in full sun; this helps develop a stronger flavor. It likes soil that drains well, but not sandy. It will tolerate some dry conditions as long as the soil has enough organic material to keep the plant from drying out; it will not tolerate drought. It is a tender perennial, and it likes to be on the warm side.

Propagation is simple; rooting cuttings about 4" to 5" long gives the best results. I've never seen Puerto Rican oregano in seed. I happened to procure some cuttings from a friend, and now I have three plants which I can't wait for them to be big enough for me to start harvesting them, which is fast approaching. Since I live in Indiana, I grow my Puerto Rican oregano in pots. I place them outside during good weather, and winter them together with my tropical orchids in my garden room in my basement.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, we had several plants in the garden which we harvested for cooking on a daily basis.

It also makes a great tea for indigestion or upset stomach. The first time I tried Puerto Rican oregano tea, I was surprised it did not have the oregano taste I expected; it was rather smooth and refreshing.

Positive helenmu On May 14, 2010, helenmu from Atlanta, GA wrote:

Hi. This herb is what we used for Oregano when we lived in the Dominican Republic. They say that the tastiest goats on the island are those that graze on this oregano. I have been searching far and wide for a US source for this plant. I brought one back from the DR on my last trip there, but it didn't make it. Anyone? It is also called: Dominican Oregano, Spanish Thyme, False Thyme, and I recently ran across it as Jamaican Oregano.

Excellent herb to season Beans for Rice and Beans, and exceptional for seasoning meats. Helen

Positive pgcarroll On May 8, 2010, pgcarroll from Belleair, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I never knew this was "false oregano," as my cutting was identified as "Greek" oregano. This is a prolific plant with great flavor that we use all the time as oregano in cooking. During our several freezes in early 2010, our long-standing plant froze to the ground and did not return (so sad). So, I got another cutting and started again in a small pot in our "nursery" - an area that is in mostly shade, but gets some filtered sun and watering from a sprayer whenever our drip system runs (about every 3 days). It's now planted in the ground in the original spot of our former plant. I hope it makes it - so far, so good.

Positive prometeo21 On Sep 28, 2006, prometeo21 from Mayaguez, PR (Zone 11) wrote:

Excellent used as a substitute for oregano. Even taste better than oregano in chicken and pork dishes.

This plant is really easy to grow from cuttings. Sometimes grows from seed but its kind of slow growing from seeds. I grow some of them from seeds just for Biodiversity reasons. Come true from seeds.

In Puerto Rico is mislabeled as Lippia graveolens by Botanists, Agronomist and nursery owners. Even at the principal Agriculture Institution of the island the professors there call the plant Lippia graveolens.

It prefers semi alkaline soil but can grow in slightly acidic soils. Prefers semi-arid conditions and needs good drainage but can have heavy rain falls without damage if drainage is good. Flowers are small but pretty. Butterflies love it.

The most important point about this plant is that its taste better dried than fresh. If you like spicy oregano flavor you will love this plant.

You can grow it inside during the winter in small pots and plant it outside once the danger of frost has passed. It grows fast so you will have enough dried herb for all the year once the winter came again and you can continue growing the new cuttings inside winter after winter.

A traditional puertorrican condiment for meats is made from fresh crushed garlic, fresh grinded black pepper, sea salt and this dried herb. In the island the people call it "Oregano Chiquito" that means "small oregano". Try it in your next barbecue.

Positive ilima On Mar 19, 2006, ilima from Clyde/Fines Creek, NC (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant is a small shrub that will take pruning and shaping with ease. It grows best in full sun. The small 1/4 inch leaves are an excellent substitute for oregano. It is much like Rosemary in habit ,needs and behavior.


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

San Diego, California
Clearwater, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Kihei, Hawaii
Ensenada, Puerto Rico
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico

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