15 Types of Oregano for Edible & Ornamental Enjoyment
Author: Jen Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
From pizza to fried chicken, oregano goes with everything. And different types of oregano come with unique flavors and aromas to make your meals one of a kind. But some ornamental oregano has nothing to do with cooking; what are your thoughts on that?
Now the question is which variety will be perfect for enhancing the taste of your recipes and which is more of a decorative piece?
Well, by the time you finish reading this article, you'll be able to differentiate the edible varieties of oregano from the ornamental ones and figure out the one that suits your recipe the most. So let's get into that part, shall we?
15 Types of Oregano
Yes, there're several varieties of oregano. Each of them offers unique aromas and enhances the taste and flavor of your meal in a different way. And you can also get some ornamental herbs to decorate your garden too.
To better understand, we'll discuss the edible oregano varieties first, and then we'll get to know the decorative ones. Without further ado, let's proceed, and don't forget you can check out our other types of garnish we've covered as well.
A quick history lesson is that we don't quite know how old oregano is or when it first began being used, but we know the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were already using it to flavor food. There's even mythology in these cultures surrounding where oregano came from.
8 Edible Types of Oregano
You'll see a wide range of oregano when getting one for cooking. Some offer subtle flavor, and some will make your recipe an oregano-based one. Well, here are the options if you want to add this exotic herb to your meals among other types of spices.
When we're talking about the most common types of oregano plants, marjoram wins the race. They come with a mild aroma and flavor, perfect for adding to any dish you make.
If you want to get the signature spicy taste of oregano, this variation will not give you the strong kick you want. However, it has a gentle taste, so you can use it for any European or Middle Eastern recipe you want.
Moreover, some recipes needed to be cooked on high heat. In that case, this herb won't be an ideal choice because it may lose some of its flavors. But you can use it without any hesitation for any salad, marinate, or garnishing.
To grow this oregano, you need to ensure that the ground gets direct sunlight and the soil is mildly moist. It is a low-maintenance herb; thus, your grow area will be thriving with marjoram without much effort.
Most Italian recipe calls for oregano, so this herb has an Italian variation; that's nothing surprising. You can use it in any recipe to add some exotic taste and enhance the flavor.
Though it looks similar to Greek oregano, the leaves are brighter in the Italian variety. This fantastic oregano grows in warm weather and can survive in the draught. Well, that's something impressive.
With beautiful pink flavor and amazing aroma, these oregano plant types really enhance the outlook of your garden. Just keep the soil well-drained, and you have nothing to worry about.
From soups to garlic bread, this oregano goes nicely with everything including the various types of basil. But don't keep the herb in a humid environment. If you do so, they will experience untimely death, and you don't want that.
Some recipes require sweet oregano instead of a strong flavor. In that case, you can sprinkle some golden oregano on your dish.
Though the smell of this herb is more on the sweeter side, you will get a spicy taste from it. Therefore, please don't go overboard while using it in your soup or pasta.
The golden oregano comes with a woody stem, crimpy leaves that have a yellowish-green color. As the leaves are small and oval, washing them won't be easy.
Well, suppose you want to add robust types of oregano flavor to your recipes; in that case, you should check other oregano varieties because this one can only offer subtle fragrances.
Not a fan of subtle flavors? Get Syrian oregano to add a strong fragrance to your recipes. It has a spicy taste and robust aroma, perfect for use in any dish that requires intense flavoring.
This type of oregano belongs to the quick-grow class. Yes, when the soil is dry, the weather is full of warmth and sunlight; it will grow pretty quickly and in a huge amount. Hence, if you need bigger batches of oregano, this variety is the perfect one without any doubt.
Though the herb needs a little watering, it doesn't like excessive moisture. And this one isn't an indoor plant, so keeping it in your outdoor garden will be the wisest choice. But during winter, you can keep it inside so the leaves can stay crispy.
You can sprinkle these oregano types in anything, from your chicken popcorns to traditional Middle Eastern dishes. It will add a nice kick to the recipe, which will make your creation more mind-blowing than it already is.
Now it is time to discuss the favorite oregano of every cooking enthusiast. Yes, Greek oregano is on the top of any chef's list for its spicy kick and hearty aroma. Moreover, it comes with tons of health benefits, making it well sought-after.
Getting this variant will be the wisest idea if you don't want to maintain your garden much. These herbs don't require extensive nurturing; hence, you can easily grow them in your garden.
It tastes similar to marjoram, but the flavor is more concentrated. Therefore, when you have to bake, cook, or fry something for a long time, choosing this oregano will be the best decision.
Though this herb is effortless to grow, you won't get an aggressive yield. Thus, if you want to get some herbs for your indoor garden, get this one without any second thought.
This aromatic plant is also known as Mexican mint or Spanish thyme, popular for having a robust and sweet odor. The leaves of these types of oregano plants are fuzzy like the ones in mint with zigzag edges.
Yes, this variety doesn't belong to the original oregano family because it shares similar traits. Hence, Cuban oregano is used for an oregano-like taste by every chef, more or less.
You can use it in pizza, any types of pasta sauce, spaghetti, or your fried chicken marinate. But while using it, you should go for the smallest amount as the pungent aroma of this herb can overpower any other flavor.
Mexican Bush Oregano
As the name suggests, these oregano types come from Mexico. But you can grow it in a hot, dry climate without any trouble.
One of the most admirable facts about this herb is that it can withstand harsh weather conditions. It has an outstanding smell that makes any food exotic. This oregano also goes by Mexican sage, so you can check for this tag on the label if you want to get this herb.
No, it isn't the Mexican bush oregano, and yes, it doesn't belong to the original oregano family either. But it gives oregano-like vibes to your food, which is why it has earned its place as a variation of this herb.
When you chop it, you'll get an intense aroma without much trying. But for flavorful Mexican or any other dishes, you can crush the oregano and add it for stronger zest. I've even had it on different types of bagels before.
This plant has ornamental uses, too, as the flowers of this herb look very pretty. And they are easy to grow, making them any gardener's favorite.
7 Ornamental Types of Oregano
Well, it is time to get introduced to the ornamental or decorative kinds of oregano that will make your garden smell nice and look aesthetically pleasing. Let's take a peek at the varieties available for us.
These oregano types have pretty little pink flowers and the bright green leaves add more amiability to them. This one is an upright plant suitable for indoor and outdoor gardening.
Kent Beauty Oregano
Though this type comes with small flowers, the bracts are pretty large and overlap. Hence, it looks fantastic in any growing area, and this herb is pretty low-maintenance too.
When you have to cover a small area for your ground, and you don't want to use regular grass for that, getting Compactum oregano will be an excellent idea. You can plant these oregano plant varieties to cover any area you want as it has intensely dark green leaves.
Amethyst Falls Oregano
It's an aesthetically pleasing herb with vibrant flowers and cute leaves. The combination of bright pink flowers and purple bracts makes your garden look fantastic. So, if you want to add a dash of color to your landscape, these oregano types will be the perfect one.
This is one of the most different kinds of oregano and is a versatile variety that can be used for cooking too. It comes with yellow leaves and is perfect for covering the grounds.
This one is quite different as these oregano plant types grows up to three feet. Therefore, if you're looking for an herb for your indoor area, you should consider getting some other option.
And yes, these oregano varieties will enhance the outlook of your grow area as it comes with cute little pink flowers and dark green leaves.
This ornamental oregano is the favorite one of many because of its one-of-a-kind beauty. When the lavender bracts meet dark green leaves, it looks heavenly. As a result, if you are trying to beautify your landscape, go for this oregano without any hesitation.
Types of Oregano to Improve Any Dish
Oregano is available in every kitchen, even if you're not into cooking that much. As it adds an exotic flavor to your recipe without trying, keeping this on your kitchen shelf comes in really handy.
However, some of the different types of oregano are also used as decorative plants. So when talking about versatility, this herb is unbeatable, don't you think?