Page author: David Giblin
Origanum vulgare
wild marjoram

Distribution: West of the Cascades in Washington; introduced from Eurasia into northeastern United States.

Habitat: Escaped from cultivation along roadsides and in disturbed soil.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Pleasantly aromatic, perennial herbs from creeping rhizomes, the stems square, simple below the inflorescence, 3-7 dm. tall, loosely hairy.


Leaves opposite, wholly cauline, gradually reduced upward, ovate to ovate-deltoid, 1.5-3 cm. long, entire, short-petiolate; clusters of small leaves in the leaf axils.


Flowers solitary in the axils of small bracts, crowded in dense, trichotomously-branched, head-like clusters which terminate the stem and upper branches; bracts elliptic to obovate, 3-5 mm. long, purple-tipped; calyx 2-2.5 mm. long, the 5 triangular teeth purplish, shorter than to tube; corolla purple, 5 mm. long, two-lipped, the upper lip flat, shallowly notched, the lower lip spreading, 3-lobed; stamens 4, the upper pair equaling the corolla, the lower pair longer and divergent; style 2-parted; ovary 2-celled, superior.


Nutlets 4

Accepted Name:
Origanum vulgare L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 590. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Origanum vulgare in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Origanum vulgare checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Origanum vulgare atlas page.

CalPhotos: Origanum vulgare photos.

USDA Plants: Origanum vulgare information.

12 photographs:
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