Searching for a certain rare oregano

dabnhMarch 17, 2009

Many years ago, I lived in the house of a little old italian lady in Watertown Mass. SHe had been gardening her back yard plot for years. She used to grow a variety of oregano that I have never been able to find.

This oregano that she grew was the most potent, most flavorful oregano I had ever tasted and never tasted as good since.

This variety, had very tiny leaves. It was an annual. It grew into almost a tiny tree, on a single stalk from the soil. If left to go to seed it had very tiny flowers. THe bush is maybe a foot tall at maturity, with a woody stalk.

She used to let a few go to seed every year and collect them. She used to plant the seeds the next year, but also ,they seemed to propogate themselves in this garden, as new plants would come up all over the garden. And she would tend to them too.

When I moved away, i took some of the seeds with me, but did not succeed in growing them

Does anyone have any idea what variety of oregano this might be and where I might be able to find the seeds. I am quite sure she has long passed on.

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If you remember her address send a letter to the address and see if you get a response. Unlikely but perhaps family took over the house.

Do you remember the color of the flowers? I purchased a dwarf oregano plant last year that sounds similar. To early to see if the plant has died yet. Only one I have seen with white flowers. The plant may be a biennual and you never noticed it until it flowered so don't just look for annual plants. Will do some checking with Italian friends.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:54PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Is it really oregano? I have thyme here that is quiye potent when you just brish against the tiny leaves. Its also woody and has tiny flowers, but it has not spread to new plants. I did start from seeds two years ago and walso tried to grow several oregano types along with buying a few from Richters. None of the oregano has survived, but the thyme has a very close flavor and strong smell similar to oregano. Richters sells Greek oregano seeds. They also sell 17 different strains of oregano plants from Greek, Mexican, Syrian, Cuban, and many more. Give them a try for some potted plants. Oregano seeds are hard to grow into plants. Soil conditions can aslo affect the smell and taste of oregano. All my oregano seeds last year produced very small plants but none survived a single summer, even though they were planted right next to the thyme thats doing great even now in this cold weather.

An old landlady I rented from years ago had a big bush that smelled like baby powder growing next to her house. That was one interesting plant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Richters herb plants

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 10:04PM
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I just ordered a mexican and a greek oregano from "Companion Plants" in Ohio. They had many different kinds and might be less expensive than Richters. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 2:21PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Greek oregano is far more potent than other varieties.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:19AM
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Mexican oregano is fine for mexican foods but I wouldn't ues it to season for others as it has a different taste unless you get use to the taste. Yes Greek oregano is by far the best flavor over all but not for Mexican foods as it just doesn't have the taste desired for that type foods.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:32PM
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I grew oregano from seed and found it to be pretty easy, it even self-seeded the area where I kept one of the pots last summer and pulling weeds a couple weeks back I realized it was oregano seedlings. I guess they like the Mediterranean climate...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 12:38AM
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from the description, Probably it was a mediteranian summer savory. It has small leaves, branches out like a tree.
It is more potent and flavorfull than oregano, more like thyme. The Latin name is :
satureja hortensis
Google it.
Unlike American summer savory which tends to cascade, this one grows upright and branches out like a tree. It is very popular in Middle East countries.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Just a thought, if it was an annual it probably was Marjoram not oregano.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 11:32PM
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The starter mentioned that yhe main stem of the herb branched out like a tree. Marjoram, technically is oragano , or oragano is marjoram. They mainly grow as a single stem with no pronounced branching.

There are two herbs that fit the description:
1- summer savory, mediteranian cultivar
2- summere thyme.

we have not heard back from the starter yet.
hopefully he found what he was looking for.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 12:52AM
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sounds like my Puerto Rican oregano

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 3:03PM
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Sounds like my Puerto Rican Oregano.
Wispy branches with teeny tiny leaves. Wonderful taste.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 8:58AM
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I am hoping someone might know and be able to contact the member who posted this original post. I have been searching for days and stumbled on this message.
It is the exact same oregano I am searching for! I live in Bloomsburg and had been growing it from seed and plants which started from seeds the plants dropped-for years. Until our town flooded. I lost all the plants and any dropped seeds rotted.
If anyone can contact this member and find out if they found out what type of oregano it is-or if was able to get seeds....I would deeply appreciate it.
None of the oreganos in the follow up posts to this message are the kind I am searching for-the other member described it perfectly!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 12:38PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I Agree with Cyrus, The description " GRPWS LIKE A TREE ...TINY LEAVES... GOES INTO SEEDS...." fit summer savory. My summer savory from last year has reseeded many . It grows much like a basil plant.
Tastewise, summer savory is more close to thyme than oregano, as its aroma is longer lasting and has a MINTY tast like french tarragon

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:28AM
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