E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Origanum vulgare L.
wild marjoram (oregano)
Lamiaceae (Mint family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© john brears  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #86783)

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Distribution of Origanum vulgare
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from creeping rhizome; stems erect, 30-70 cm tall, branched above, often with short axillary sterile branches below, somewhat hairy, 4-angled; culinary herb.
All stem leaves; opposite, egg-shaped, 1-3 cm long, entire or nearly so, scattered hairy, minutely gland-dotted; stalks 3-5 mm long; gradually reduced toward the inflorescence.
Inflorescence of several, axillary and terminal, panicle-like flower clusters; bracts elliptic or diamond- to egg-shaped, 3-5 mm long, often purple-tipped; corollas tubular, white to red-purple, 4-7 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip nearly entire, the lower lip 3-lobed; calyces 1-2.5 mm long, gland-dotted, sparsely hairy, short-bristly within, 13-veined; calyx teeth 5, lance-triangular or nearly egg-shaped, nearly equal in length, shorter than tube, generally purplish.
Nutlets, 4 clustered together, egg-shaped, smooth.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References