Origanum is a perennial herb that is native to Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia. The word origanum is derived from two Greek words meaning “mountain” and “to delight in”. Origanum grows to a height of 20-80cm and produces masses of pink-purple flowers in spring and summer. It became popular in America as the “pizza herb” when returning World War Two soldiers brought it back from Italy.
Planting Tips :
- Plant origanum in full sun, in well-draining soil that does not stay soggy after watering.
- Add some organic fertiliser to the soil at the time of planting. After this you should feed with and organic fertilizer once a month will not need to feed the plant again – it is a hardy herb.
- Origanum should be watered once a week in summer if there is no rain. Make sure that the soil dries out inbetween watering. Many varieties of origanum prefer dry soil.
- Origanum features prominently in Greek and Italian cuisine. It is used to flavour sauces, salads, lamb, fish and pasta dishes.
- Origanum is one of the few herbs whose flavour intensifies when it is dried. Pick fresh origanum from your garden and hang bunches upside down to dry. Add the dried leaves to your pizza for that ‘made in Italy’ taste.
- Used topically, origanum is one of the most effective herbal antiseptics due to its high thymol content. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used origanum as an antiseptic and to treat stomach and respiratory ailments.
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