Oregano, Mexican

'Mexican' oregano may not be 'in stock' all the time at your local nursery, but collectors of unusual herbs and landscapers will find this one easy to grow. Likes full sun, heat, in good all-purpose garden soil. Well drained container or spot in the garden. Allow to grow up to 5 feet and wide or prune for topiary or hedge shape. Does well when pruned. Moderate water and not cold tolerant, maybe ok to winter in zones 9-11, cover or mulch any before any sign of frost. Blooms whitish-yellow flowers in the summer.

Leaves fresh have a sweet, peppery, spice scent. Attracts bees, butterflies and/ or birds in the garden when blooming.

'Mexican' oregano has a similar taste to common oregano, but usually is slightly stronger. The leaves are a wonderful flavoring to sausage, tomato sauces, meatballs or fish. Both American Indian and South Americans use this herb in ethnic favorite dishes like pozole (hominy soup with pork), salsas, adobos (Mexican seasoning paste), and rajas (roasted/seasoned chile strips for tortillas or quesadillas). Data info @ bbg.org (Brooklyn Botanic Garden)

'Mexican' oregano is closely related to lemon verbena. Native to Guatemala and parts of South America. In native Mexico, this herb is also known as 'te' de pais' (country tea), locals brew the dried leaves into an herbal beverage. Data info @ wikipedia.org

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