Herbal History Herbal History
Herbs for Beginners Cooking with Herbs

Garden Herbs


Marjoram (Origanum Onites).—One of the most familiar Herbs in British gardens. The aromatic leaves are used both green and when dried for flavoring. Strictly the plant is a perennial, but it is readily grown as an annual. Sow in February or March in gentle heat, and in the open ground a month later.

Marjoram is one of the most familiar of our kitchen herbs, and is cultivated for the use of their aromatic leaves, either in a green or dried state, for flavoring and other culinary purposes, being mainly put into stuffing's. Sweet Marjoram leaves are also excellent in salads. They have whitish flowers, with a two-lipped calyx, and also contain a volatile oil, which has similar properties to the Wild Marjoram.

It is a perennial herb, with creeping roots, sending up woody stems about a foot high, branched above, often purplish. The leaves are opposite, petiolate, about an inch long, nearly entire hairy beneath. The flowers are in corymbs, with reddish bracts, a two-lipped pale purple corolla, and a five-toothed calyx, blooming from the end of June, through August. There is a variety with white flowers and light-green stalks, another with variegated leaves. It is propagated by division of roots in the autumn.

Marjoram has a more mild, sweet flavor than oregano with perhaps a hint of balsam. It is said to be “the” meat herb but compliments all foods except sweets. Common to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods, marjoram is grown domestically and imported mostly from Egypt.

Plants may be grown from seed or started from summer cuttings. Roots may be divided in the fall. When grown from seed, it should be started indoors or in cold frames in early spring. Transfer outside when temperatures aren't expected to drop below 45 degrees. To keep the plants neat, cut out all dead wood and remove dead flowers and stalks.

Begin harvesting the leaves and stem tips when plants are 4 to 5 inches high. The flavor will improve after the flower buds form, just before flowering. To harvest, cut the stem tops down to the first two sets of leaves. New stems and shoots will grow, producing second and sometimes third crops. Dry the leaves in a warm, dry, shaded place, and store them in an airtight container.

Externally, the dried leaves and tops may be applied in bags as a hot fomentation to painful swellings and rheumatism, as well as for colic. An infusion made from the fresh plant will relieve nervous headache, by virtue of the camphoraceous principle contained in the oil.

Marjoram, Sweet Knotted (Origanum Majorana).—This plant is used for culinary purposes in the same way as the Pot Marjoram, and it is also regarded as a tonic and stomachic. The most satisfactory mode of cultivation is that of a half-hardy annual. Sow in March or April and allow each plant a square foot of ground.

Garden Herbs

  History of Herbs
  Herb Gardening
  Herbs for Beginners
  Drying & Preserving Herbs
  Indoor Herb Gardening
  Herb Garden Hints & Tips

Herbal Cooking

  Herb Chart
  Using Herbs
  Culinary Herbs
  Herb Oil and Vinegar
  Herb Teas
  Herb Candy
  Herb Jelly

Herb Simples

  Alphabetical Listing

Trade Recipes Online
Share your Recipes with others!!



Copyright 2005-2006 Garden Herbs