Herbs for the Pollinator Garden: Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare var. hirtum)


Plant family

Mint Family (Lamiaceae / Labiaceae)

Common Names

(European) Oregano
Greek oregano
Turkish oregano


Greek oregano is one of many perennial herb species in the genus Oreganum native to the Mediterranean region. It tends to get woody over time.

Green herbs
Mature Oregano plant Photo credit: Joi Ito Flickr CC BY 2.0

This mid-summer blooming plant loves full sun, hot temperatures, and well drained dry soil. It grows up to about 24 inches tall and 18″ wide and will survive to USDA planting zone 5.

Good Greek oregano should have a very spicy intense flavor. Taste the leaves before you buy this plant.

Be careful not to confuse ornamental oregano (Oreganum laevigatum) with Greek oregano for culinary use. The ornamental type has little flavor.



Bee feeding on pink flowers
Bee feasting on oregano flowers Photo credit: Tracy_dw Flickr CC BY-NC-2.0

Additional Resources:


Illinois – Grow Your Own Oregano