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Oregano/Marjoram and telling the difference.

 
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I have two varieties of Oregano planted in my garden (Hot and Spicy and Greek) and a Marjoram (Gold Splashed Marjoram) unfortunately since planting them the garden, and some of the plants, have been moved around a little and I'm unable to identify which is which so i'm hoping some of you may have a better idea than me.

The first one i've started to call 'Long and Leggy'; it seems to grow tall (the tallest of any of the others, rivalling my Hyssop) rather than out and has grown so much that it has pulled itself over leading to a fairly messy appearance. The taste is powerful and intense and seems to linger on the tongue so I am assuming this is the 'Hot and Spicy' however the leaves do have a golden speckled quality so it did make me wonder at first if it was the Marjoram (though the flavour is more intense than the other two) I feel as though I should have cut this back and dried the leaves, as the size of the plant definately affects its looks but I wanted to allow the flowers to bloom; any advice for cutting back oregano?

The second plant i've started to call "Flourescent" as the leaves and flower buds on this particular plant seem a very intense and bright green. The flavour of this is also intense but more muted than the 'Long and Leggy' though when I first tried it I found it had a longer lasting aftertaste than the other two; Greek Oregano? This plant is the slowest growing so far but is happy and healthy.

The third is a real trooper of a plant, i've termed it 'Gentle and Bushy' This plant does have a slightly dappled gold look to some of its leaves (though not as intense as any pictures of the gold splashed marjoram i've seen) and has quite a mild taste but a well-rounded one, so i'm assuming this is the marjoram. I also noticed that even though it seems to have had a wood pigeon (of which we have a veritable epidemic around here) land directly in the centre of it this plant seems to have recovered and is producing new growth with a vengeance; not growing as tall as plant one but is definitely the bushiest.

On a slightly unrelated (but still herby) note I have a lavender 'Vera' in my garden too that shows healthy and vibrant growth, am I right in thinking that Lavender Vera is edible rather than simply being a treat for the nose (and bees)? I have read some people claiming the leaves can be used along with the flowers but this seems to contradict what other people have been saying.

I noticed some lavender for sale in a local garden centre that seemed to have been cultivated to have a long woody trunk with the leaves coming from the top, almost in the form of a small bush. I know this can also be done with currants but are there also other common garden herbs this could be done with? I'm wondering if oregano could be trained in this way as I am sure that would be quite beautiful and also free up space to plant thyme around the base or is such training harmful to the plants? If not how would one do this?
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Long and Leggy (Close)
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Long and Leggy
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Flourescent (Close)
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Flourescent
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Gentle and Bushy (Close)
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Gentle and Bushy
 
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Oregano, Origanum vulgare is a perennial plant.
Majoram Origanum majorana is an annuall plant.

What is commonly sold as majoram in garden centers is a hybrid between the two. They can backcross to either parent. In other words, I have no idea what you have in your garden. In my garden, I just harvest what smells nice to use in my dishes
 
M D Scott
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Oh really I didn't know that? I assumed both were perennial, i'll wait to see which dies off completely come winter then! Yes I think you're right I just like to know what is what; my silly fault for moving them around so often!
 
hans muster
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Probably because the garden centers sell the hybrid, which is perennial, as majoram... :-/
 
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