WILD MARJORAM

Origanum Vulgare

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seedball-flower-wildmarjoram

Conservation Status

Green, least concern

Best Time to See

July, August, September

Natural Habitat

Found in grassland, hedge banks, road verges and scrub

Description

The wild marjoram, the pink flowers of which may be found on chalk and limestone grasslands in summer, is the same species as the classic aromatic Mediterranean herb often used in cooking.

How to spot it

Erect squarish stems with opposite pairs of oval pointed stalked leaves are topped by clusters of dark red buds, which open into small rosy pink flowers. Leaves are pleasantly aromatic.

Cultural info

In flower language marjoram is said to be a symbol of blushes.

How’s it doing?

Quite common in the south of England, but largely absent from central, northern and western Scotland. It has declined slightly except in the main areas of chalk and limestone soils.

Did you know?

  • The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, first cultivated marjoram and that her gentle touch had given it its fragrance, so newly married couples were crowned with marjoram wreaths.
  • The Greeks dressed their hair and eyebrows with a fragrant pomade made from marjoram.
  • A bunch of sweet marjoram was placed beside milk containers during thundery weather as it was thought that this would prevent the milk going sour.
  • One local name for marjoram is ‘Joy of the mountain’.
  • Made into marjoram tea, wild marjoram was quite a cure-all helping, for example, indigestion, earache, bladder trouble, cough and oedema.
  • The beauty of marjoram is that it can be added to various dishes such as soups, roasted meats, sauteed vegetables and marinades.
  • Adding marjoram to the garden not only creates a beautiful atmosphere, but it also helps attract butterflies and other insects that feed on pests and decomposing matter, and can pollinate plants.

www.plantlife.org.uk for more information

SHOP FOR WILD MARJORAM

BEE MIX

A mix of native wildflowers that bees will just love! This carefully selected mix is designed specifically to attract solitary bees, honey bees and bumblebees. Each seed ball contains approximately 30 seeds from a mix of Birdsfoot Trefoil, Foxglove, Red Clover, Viper’s Bugloss and Wild Marjoram – all recommended as bee-friendly plants by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We’ve also added a sprinkling of pollinator-friendly annuals Chamomile, Cornflower, Corn marigold, and Night-flowering catchfly. See Full Listing.