Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!

Herb Profile: Roundleaf Oregano | Origanum Rotundifolium

The roundleaf oregano plant (Origanum rotundifolium) is a delightful mounding species found in rocky, well-drained areas with full sun exposure.

| June/July 2005

  • Origanum Rotundifolium
    Roundleaf oregano (Origanum rotundifolium) is a superb rockery or garden wall plant with a neat mounding habit and unusual, attractive flowering habit.

  • Origanum Rotundifolium

• Genus: Origanum rotundifolium

• Hardy to Zone 7

Roundleaf Oregano Basics

Most people are quite familiar with the many culinary cultivars of Origanum vulgare (i.e. ‘Italian’ oregano), and marjoram (‘pot’ marjoram); but, less is known about an interesting species from Turkey, Origanum rotundifolium. This is a delightful mounding plant species that is found in rocky, well-drained areas with full sun exposure. It forms an evergreen creeping mat when dormant but eventually reaches 6 to 10 inches in height from short, woody, wiry stems. These are covered with a series of clasping pairs of rounded, slightly aromatic, bluish-green, glabrous leaves. In fact, the only common name I can find for this plant is roundleaf oregano.

It is a superb rockery or garden wall plant with its neat mounding habit and unusual, attractive flowering habit. The inconspicuous pale pink or white flowers are camouflaged by large, 1-inch or more, yellowish-green, papery, hop-like flower bracts. These bracts tend to weigh down the flowering stems to form a wonderful and decorative cascading effect. These stems may be cut for fresh flowers or, better yet, for drying as unique everlastings. The only pity is that they are short in length (4 to 8 inches), which limits them for use in large flower arranging; but they’re excellent as unusual color accents in herbal wreaths.

Roundleaf oregano is quite promiscuous and hybridizes freely from random garden romances which have lead to such notable hybrids as Origanum x‘Kent Beauty’ (with pinkish tipped bracts) and Origanum x‘Barbara Tingey’ (with even darker pink or flushed colored bracts).

These plants are easy to grow if given full sun exposure and extremely good drainage as provided by a garden wall planting. Although hardy to Zone 7, I find they are able to take lower temperatures if they are not excessively wet during the winter. The parent species, O. rotundifolium, seems to be much more robust and hardier than the subsequent hybrids.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


click me