Oregano (US: / -/,, UK: //; Origanum vulgare) is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. It was native to the Mediterranean region, but widely naturalised elsewhere in the temperate Northern Hemisphere.
Oregano is a woody perennial plant, growing 20–80 cm (8–31 in) tall, with opposite leaves1–4 cm (1⁄2–1+1⁄2 in) long. The flowers are purple,3–4 mm (1⁄8–3⁄16 in) long, produced in erect spikes in summer. It is sometimes called wild marjoram, and its close relative, O. majorana, is known as sweet marjoram. Both are very widely used as culinary herbs, especially in Spanish, Italian and French cuisine. Oregano is also an ornamental plant, with numerous cultivars bred for varying leaf colour, flower colour and habit.
From Spanish orégano (“wild marjoram”), from Latin orīganum, from Ancient Greek ὀρίγανον (oríganon). Doublet of origanum.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɒɹɪˈɡɑːnəʊ/, /əˈɹɛɡənoʊ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɔˈɹɛɡənoʊ/, /əˈɹɛɡənoʊ/
oregano (usually uncountable, plural oreganos)
- A herb of the mint family, Origanum vulgare, having aromatic leaves.