Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Identify Oregano

...
Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Oregano is a pungent, aromatic, intense herb. Many people think oregano is an Italian spice, but it hails from many different parts of the world, including Greece and Mexico. Oregano is a member of the mint family, and is often confused with common marjoram. Identifying oregano correctly will ensure that you have robust soups, sauces and other dishes.

Inspect the leaves. Leaves of oregano are oval, slightly hairy and coarse. They should be a deep, bright-green color.

  • Oregano is a pungent, aromatic, intense herb.
  • Many people think oregano is an Italian spice, but it hails from many different parts of the world, including Greece and Mexico.

Inspect the flowers. Oregano has pink or purple flowers, while common marjoram has white flowers. Oregano tends to sprawl out as it grows, so pinching the flowers back will keep the plant compact and produce quality leaves.

Taste the leaf. Oregano will taste robust, pungent and spicy. Marjoram will taste slightly minty and have a mild citrus flavor.

Tip

Oregano is a hearty plant that will grow in a pot in a sunny window, as well as outdoors.

Fresh oregano leaves are not as strong as dried oregano, so use twice as much fresh oregano as dried in recipes.

Related Articles

How to Harvest and Store Oregano
How to Harvest and Store Oregano
Is Basil Still Good After It Flowers?
Is Basil Still Good After It Flowers?
Flowering Plants With Flavors Similar to Fennel & Licorice
Flowering Plants With Flavors Similar to Fennel & Licorice
Is a Citronella Plant Toxic to Dogs?
Is a Citronella Plant Toxic to Dogs?
Characteristics of a Basil Plant
Characteristics of a Basil Plant
Which Herbs Grow Well in North Carolina?
Which Herbs Grow Well in North Carolina?
How to Freeze or Dry Cilantro
How to Freeze or Dry Cilantro
Sweet Herbs & Spices
Sweet Herbs & Spices
Life Cycle of Basil Plants
Life Cycle of Basil Plants
How to Grow White Sage in Zone 8
How to Grow White Sage in Zone 8
Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?
Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?
How to Care for a Chocolate Mint Plant
How to Care for a Chocolate Mint Plant
Information on the Lemon Sage Plant
Information on the Lemon Sage Plant
Difference Between a Spearmint Plant & a Peppermint Plant
Difference Between a Spearmint Plant & a Peppermint...
How to Dry Borage Herbs
How to Dry Borage Herbs
How Do I Pinch a Basil Plant?
How Do I Pinch a Basil Plant?
How to Identify a Rubber House Plant
How to Identify a Rubber House Plant
Garden Guides
×