Oregano, About the Different Oregano and Marjoram Varieties

Turkish Oregano


Both Oregano and Marjoram have small, delicate flowers, which bloom profusely and vary in shades from lavender to pink, or white and are lovely in bouquets and woven into wreaths. Butterflies and bees love them.

Some Oregano’s bloom later than others and some, like Hopley’s, Kent Beauty, Bristol and Dittany of Crete are valued for their flowers and we view them as mainly ornamental. The best culinary ones are Italian, Turkish, Greek and Hot & Spicy. Of these, Greek and Italian bloom about mid-summer through fall and have the most flavor-filled leaves right before the flowers bloom. Although the flowers are edible too, it’s usually the leaves that are used for flavoring foods. They retain their flavor better in hot dishes if added toward the end of cooking. Heating too long may result in bitterness.

To see a photo of each variety altogether on one page, click here.

Listed below are the characteristics of each of our varieties, we encourage you to try several different kinds because they are all easy to grow and each variety is unique in flavor.

‘Bristol Cross’ Oregano has beautiful Asian looking pinkish-purple flowers and a mild oregano flavor and aroma. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Crinkle Leaf Marjoram’ is a low mounding Marjoram with attractive, golden crinkled leaves. It is heat and drought tolerant. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Dittany of Crete’ is a spreading oregano with fuzzy grey-green round leaves and papery pink bracts that make nice dried flowers. One of the smaller oreganos. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Golden’ Oregano has bright yellow-green leaves and makes a lovely contrast plant next to the grays and greens of other herbs or next to bright-red flowers of bedding plants. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Greek’ Oregano’s flavor is hot and peppery. It sports white flowers and is extremely drought-tolerant. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Hopley’s’ Oregano Is another deeply fragrant and ornamental variety with very dark lavender flowers and tinted foliage. Attracts butterflies! Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Hot and Spicy’ Oregano is the perfect choice for Mexican dishes, or strongly flavored Italian and Greek cuisine. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Italian’ Oregano – the most famous variety in the oregano family, has the nick-name “Pizza Herb.” It is perfect for Italian, Greek, Spanish and Mexican dishes. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Jim’s Best’ Oregano is another highly-ornamental plant with gold and green marbled leaves. It is a low, semi-trailing herb that looks great trailing over pot edges or rock walls. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Kent Beauty’ is a cascading ornamental oregano with beautiful papery, everlasting pink flowers. Well suited in dried arrangements. Great for baskets, hanging pots or in rock gardens. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Sweet Marjoram’ – This relative of Oregano is sweeter and milder in flavor. It is great for butter sauces, poultry, and egg dishes. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Turkish’ Oregano This one has a strong but not-too-hot flavor. It is the favorite for Mediterranean cooking. It has pink-tinted white flowers. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.

‘Variegated’ Oregano a low mounding habit and milder flavor than most oreganos. It is much more tender to heat and cold than the other varieties. Learn more about this variety including sowing information.