Oregano (US: /ɔːˈrɛɡənoʊ, ə-/, UK: /ˌɒrɪˈɡɑːnoʊ/; 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 leaves 1–4 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.
Oregano is an herb that is used for culinary purposes, such as in pasta sauces, soups and salads, as well as for its health benefits. Try using organic oregano in seafood, lamb and veal dishes. It's also a nice, woodsy addition to sauces, marinades and vegetables. In fact, organic oregano is widely believed to be the most pungent tasting of all the oreganos. The flavour and aroma of organic oregano is so strong that it should be used sparingly.