marjoram

marjoram

[mahr-jer-uhm]
marjoram or sweet marjoram, Old World perennial aromatic herb (Marjorana hortensis) of the family Labiatae (mint family), cultivated in gardens for flavoring. The tops yield origanum oil, once used medicinally but more recently for perfuming soaps. The closely related European pot, or wild, marjoram (Origanum vulgare) has similar uses and is the spice usually sold as oregano, although other species may be called oregano. The generic names Marjorana and Origanum are frequently interchanged. Marjoram is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.
or sweet marjoram

Perennial herb (Majorana hortensis) of the mint family, or its fresh or dried leaves and flowering tops. Native to the Mediterranean and western Asia, marjoram is cultivated as an annual where winter temperatures kill the plant. It is used to flavor many foods. Various other aromatic herbs or undershrubs of the genera Origanum (see oregano) and Majorana of the mint family are also called marjoram.

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Marjoram (Origanum majorana, Lamiaceae) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub with sweet pine and citrus flavours. It is also called Sweet Marjoram or Knotted Marjoram and Majorana hortensis.

The name marjoram (Old French majorane, Medieval Latin majorana) does not directly derive from the Latin word maior (major).

Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. It is often used in herb combinations such as Herbes de Provence and Za'atar.

Although considered cold-sensitive, marjoram can sometimes prove hardy even in zone 5.

Related species

Orehellino (Origanum vulgare, sometimes listed with Marjoram as Origanum majorana) is also called Wild Marjoram. It is a perennial common in southern Europe in dry copses and on hedge-banks, with many stout stems 30-80 cm high, bearing short-stalked somewhat ovate leaves and clusters of purple flowers. It has a stronger flavor and a more penetrating quality.

Pot Marjoram or Cretan Oregano (Origanum onites) has similar uses to marjoram.

Hardy Marjoram or French marjoram is a cross of marjoram with oregano that is much more resistant to cold, but is slightly less sweet.

Origanum pulchellum, Showy Marjoram or Showy Oregano.

(Catalan marduix; Spanish mejorana; Romanian măghiran)

References

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