The rockery species of Origanum will only flourish in a warm and sunny site – they are not completely hardy and should therefore be covered with a cloche during the frosty days of winter. The flowers are long and tubular, appearing in abundance during summer but there is nothing special about these plants.

VARIETIES: The baby of the family is O. amanum – height 2 in., spread 6 in.

Flowering period: July-September. During summer the ground-hugging mat of leafy stems is covered by the elon-gated pink flowers. O. dictamnus (Amaracus dictamnus) is quite different – the plant is larger and the woolly leaves form a rounded clump. The flowers are borne in hop-like heads – small pink blooms emerging from large purplish bracts. O. vulgare Aureum’ is the yellow-leaved form of the common herb Marjoram. The purple flowers are insignificant – it is grown for its colourful foliage.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained soil – thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Plant non-flowering cuttings in a cold frame in late summer.

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