Origanum Species, Greek Oregano, Winter Marjoram

Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Origanum (or-RI-ga-num) (Info)
Species: vulgare subsp. hirtum
Synonym:Origanum heracleoticum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Hereford, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Amesti, California

Banning, California

Big Sur, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Interlaken, California

Knights Landing, California

Los Angeles, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California

Mountain View, California

Pajaro, California

San Francisco, California

Santa Ana, California

Watsonville, California

Denver, Colorado

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Lakeland, Florida(2 reports)

Longwood, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Albany, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Waverly, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Oswego, Illinois

Benton, Kentucky

Bethelridge, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Melbourne, Kentucky

Metairie, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Marshall, Missouri

Silver Springs, Nevada

Bayville, New Jersey

Bronx, New York

Deposit, New York

East Moriches, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina

Davidson, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Cranberry Twp, Pennsylvania

Jessup, Pennsylvania

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Leesville, South Carolina

Brookings, South Dakota

Abilene, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Palmyra, Virginia

Colville, Washington

White Center, Washington

Great Cacapon, West Virginia

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 13, 2012, TheLoveofFlowers from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I planted this about two or three years ago expecting it to be an annual. Nope. It survives and thrives in our zone 4 environment with very little care given to it over the winter. I've seen it die all the way to the roots but it comes back even bigger each year. Now it is spreading. And reseeding itself too.

Even though it can be annoying, spreading into other areas of the garden, the flavor is great. I like adding it to various dishes, stir fries and in salad mixes. Really I need to use it more than I have.


On Jul 31, 2011, Digitalis from New Orleans, LA wrote:

Once established in my garden, this oregano began to thrive without any attention from me. I planted it in a rock and sand mixture beside my patio where it receives harsh, direct sunlight from noon until almost sunset and I rarely water it, yet it has more than quadrupled in size since and blooms profusely. I love having this fresh herb handy to use in the kitchen, but the flavor becomes even more intense when dried. It is easily propagated from cuttings and the bees find it attractive, so I'm rooting a few cuttings for my main flower and herb bed.


On Aug 12, 2009, eclayne from East Longmeadow, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

After seeing the conditions under which oregano thrives in Crete (hard red clay - everywhere), I transplanted mine to a bed near the base of an old Spruce. The soil is heavy clay with a layer of old mulch turned in and no fertilizer. Their doing as well or better than in the old herb garden and only require a good shearing a few times a year. Fresh leaves are very pungent when bruised and have a bite when eaten fresh.


On Jul 7, 2009, kitty_mom from Waverly, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this oregano! This grows so well- in the ground or in a pot. The flavor can't be beat either. It requires only some water from time to time, yet can live through our heavy downpours.


On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

According to Underwwod Gardens it is the most pungent of the oreganos and is very hard to find. Prized for its culinary potency. Is perennial to zone 4 when mulched. Germ. @ 60-70 deg F for 2 wks.


On Feb 16, 2006, hothaus from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

The one in my garden has little flavor when used fresh.


On Jul 3, 2005, IO1 from Waaaay Down South, GA wrote:

This plant is a harty plant that grows easily without much care. The only negative is that it will spread easily but is a lush aeromatic herb for Italian cooking. It doesn't seem to be bothered by insects and grows in containers in full sun.


On May 30, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Just planted an assortment of different oreganos and they are all doing quite well. Looking forward to them forming larger clumps. The Greek Oregano already has blooms which I'm not sure if I should snip off......


On May 29, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Extremely hardy and lush here in zone 7a....it stays green all winter. The one down side to this plant is that it spreads rapidly and can get invasive.

Very intense flavor and aroma makes this a favorite in my kitchen.

The flowers are irresistable to butterflies and bees and even if you don't cook with it, it should be considered for your garden on that basis alone.


On Sep 19, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Origanum vulgare hirtum is the preferred culinary oregano, and can be distinguished by its white flowers as well as its pungent aroma and flavor. Though zoned USDA 5, this variety often winters over in our Zone 3, if mulched in the fall.