Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Oregano, Puerto Rican Oregano
Lippia graveolens

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lippia (LIP-pee-uh) (Info)
Species: graveolens (grav-ee-OH-lens) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
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


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are fragrant

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:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MallyJ On Sep 25, 2013, MallyJ from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

this plant can be grown from seed! got seed in bag of mexican oregano from the spice house (, but you will need at least 5 power glasses to find seed. i contacted them by e-mail and they confirmed it was lippia graveolens. my plant is about 18 in. tall after one season. started in hotbox during winter.

Positive bobschrad On Apr 22, 2013, bobschrad from Reston, VA wrote:

I live in northern Virginia. I bought this plant last summer and it has thrived. It was about 18 inches tall when I bought it. I transplanted it into a large container, about 16 inches in diameter. Its leaves have a wonderful fragrance of oregano. Last fall I brought it inside when nighttime temps got down to about 40F, and I put it in a west-facing bedroom window, where it got afternoon sun. At first it lost some leaves, which I dried and kept to use in soups and sauces, and on pizza. To me it tastes just like traditional oregano. It soon recovered and made it in fine shape through the winter. I recently put it outside, but if night temps are forecast in the mid-30's I throw a sheet over it. A few times when it got even colder I brought it inside for the night. The plant is now over two feet tall, with strong woody branches.

Neutral psharboneaux On Jun 10, 2012, psharboneaux from La Porte, IN wrote:

I'd like to clarify that the species Lippia graveolens is considered Mexican oregano, while Lippia micromera is the real Puerto Rican oregano. Lippia micromera is also called Spanish Thyme which I consider a misnomer since L. micromera is used as an oregano substitute, not a thyme substitute. Thyme is rarely used in Puerto Rican cuisine.

Positive YSFinHollywoodS On Sep 12, 2011, YSFinHollywoodS from Hollywood, SC wrote:

I live near Charleston, SC, zone 8a, and have had this plant just this summer. It has grown very well even though we had a drought. I would like to know about keeping it over the winter months if someone might know.

Positive greenhouse_gal On Mar 17, 2010, greenhouse_gal from Southern NJ
United States (Zone 7a) wrote:

We use this plant for seasoning Italian foods; for us it seems to have a truer Italian flavor than do the other oreganos such as the Greek variety.

Positive cachecreek On Dec 23, 2008, cachecreek from Davis, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Love this plant for seasoning Mexican food. But the info on cold tolerance above is incorrect. Lippia graveolens suffers severe cold damage at about 29 degrees F. There are references to it being hardy at lower temperatures on your website. I just lived through this...I know what happened to my plant, even though covered with a pot and then several layers of floating row cover. In the right conditions, it is very vigorous. The flowers are insignificant.

Positive sbates On Jul 31, 2003, sbates from Austin, TX wrote:

This plant provides an amazing flavor to salsa's when used fresh. Use just the leaves, wash them and chop them. The flavors combine very well with cilantro. The plant is hardy and roots easily with cuttings. The flavor is much more pungent and quite different than the dried versions you find in the store.


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

Goodyear, Arizona
Davis, California
San Francisco, California
Melbourne, Florida
Pinellas Park, Florida
Hana, Hawaii
Las Vegas, Nevada
Denville, New Jersey
Port Elizabeth, New Jersey
Hollywood, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Rockport, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Waco, Texas
Reston, Virginia

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