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- But what is "oregano", and can this name be considered as a synonym for the name marjoram?
Video: Oregano, Oregano, Marjoram
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:24
Origanum L. is a genus of aromatic plants of the Lamiacea family. We know this plant as marjoram.
Origanum L. is a very polymorphic genus. Botanists count more than 50 species within this genus. The main range of the genus is the Mediterranean (Southern Europe, North Africa, South-West Asia), where flowering marjoram plants cover the mountain slopes with an elegant carpet. It is believed that the generic name "origanum" is connected with this, as it is formed from two Greek words "oros" - mountain and "ganos" - ornament and can be translated as decoration of mountains. Some species of this genus have a wider range. So Origanum vulgare can be found from the Azores to Taiwan.
In North America, marjoram is an imported plant, and it has been known here only since the beginning of the 20th century.
Man has been using marjoram for several millennia, first in its wild species, and then in culture. It is believed that the term "hyssop" found in the Bible refers to one of the types of marjoram.
In Russia, two types of marjoram are best known - Origanum vulgare L. and Origanum majorana L.
Origanum vulgare L. - Perennial marjoram has many names: oregano, winter marjoram, mint, mother. The most commonly used name is oregano. It is a perennial shrub up to 60 cm high with straight branched stems, petiolate, ovoid or elongated leaves, finely toothed along the edge. Small flowers are collected in spikelets, forming a corymbose panicle.
The color of the flowers is purple, lilac-pink or white. The seeds are very small, reddish brown nuts. The mass of 1000 seeds is 0.08-0.11 g. Their germination capacity lasts 7-8 years. However, freshly harvested seeds have a dormant period.
Oregano is a cold-resistant plant, relatively frost-resistant. Winters well in central Russia, and with a small shelter in more northern regions. It grows well on various types of soil, except for heavy clay and acidic. It blooms earlier in the long day than in the short day. Oregano is not afraid of shading, but in open places in spring it grows earlier and is more fragrant.
Oregano was known as a medicinal plant to the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was believed that it helps almost all diseases.
But even today it has not lost its significance as a medicinal raw material. It has been found that this plant has antimicrobial properties, antioxidant activity, inhibits the growth of certain types of fungi, and can have a pesticidal effect. Infusion of oregano is used as a choleretic, diuretic and sedative for intestinal atony, acute and chronic bronchitis, is used for atherosclerosis and hypertension, and soothing baths are prepared from it.
The healing qualities of this plant are associated with its valuable chemical composition. Oregano contains up to 2% essential oil, the main components of which are carvacrol and thymol. In addition, oregano herb contains vitamins, tannins, phytoncides.
Oregano leaves with a tart spicy aroma serve as a culinary seasoning for pizza, meat cooked in the oven or in the grill, in dishes made from vegetables, eggs, in tomato sauces. They are used as a spice for canning vegetables. Oregano is found in many dry spice mixtures.
During the flowering period, the plants are very decorative, are readily visited by bees and are good honey plants.
Oregano is used in cosmetic and alcoholic beverage production, in the food industry.
The entire ground mass of the plant during the flowering period serves as a raw material. For this, wild plants are used, and also grown in culture.
It is not difficult to grow oregano in your garden. It is propagated both by seeds and vegetatively. For seed propagation, the seedling method is used. Before sowing, the vessels with the soil are well shed, small seeds are evenly distributed over the surface, lightly pressed against the soil. Sowing is covered with foil, glass, newspaper and it is advisable not to water it before pecking the seeds. At a temperature of 20 … 25 ° C, seedlings will appear on the 10-15th day. After thinning the seedlings, they are left in the same container until they are planted in the ground or they are cut into pots with a diameter of 7-10 cm for 2-3 plants. They are planted in a permanent place in the phase of 2-3 pairs of true leaves. The feeding area of one plant should be at least 30x40 cm.
For planting, choose an open, sunny area with light fertile soils, free from perennial weeds. Care - weeding, loosening. Watered only during planting and after cutting, if the weather during this period is dry. In the year of planting, one cut is made, in subsequent years - two. Plants are left in one place for 5-6 years. Shoots are dried in the shade in a well-ventilated area at a temperature not exceeding 35 ° C. Coarse shoots are removed before storage. In a tightly closed container, the valuable qualities of oregano are preserved for 2-3 years.
Vegetative propagation is best done in spring. For planting, parts of a bush or well-rooted individual shoots are taken and planted with the same feeding area as the seedlings.
Local wild populations of oregano are very diverse not only in flower color, but also in such characteristics as early maturity, chemical composition, degree of plant foliage, etc. They serve as a valuable source material for creating varieties. In Russia only for the period 2000-2004. 8 varieties of oregano were created: Arbatskaya Semko, Belaya, Karamelka, Nadyadnaya, Raduga, Northern Lights, Fairy, Khutoryanka. They are suitable for both amateur gardeners and industrial plantings, which allows you to preserve the wild-growing natural gene pool of this plant.
Origanum majorana L. is the second species known to many gardeners. Like oregano, by its nature it is a perennial plant, but not winter-hardy and winters well only in the south. In the temperate zone, it is grown only in an annual culture.
The most common of its name - Marjoram garden, marjoram annual, sweet marjoram. The plant forms small bushes up to 50 cm tall with erect or ascending branchy shoots, woody at the base. The leaves are small, oblong-ovate or spatulate with an even edge. The flowers are very small, pinkish or white, gathered at the ends of the branches in oblong inflorescences of 3-5 rounded, spike-shaped bundles. Seeds are light brown or yellowish, very small nuts. The mass of a thousand seeds is 0.2 g. They remain viable for up to 8 years.
The plant is thermophilic and light-loving, grows well on fertile soils. Does not tolerate acidic soils.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans highly valued garden marjoram as a medicinal and spicy herb, believed that this mountain plant brings joy and courage.
The medicinal raw material of garden marjoram is the ground mass of the plant, but mainly the leaves and inflorescences. They contain up to 2% essential oil, the main components of which are: linalool, terpinene. In addition, marjoram garden greens are rich in ascorbic acid, rutin, carotene.
In folk medicine, marjoram is used in the form of infusions and decoctions as a tonic, antiseptic and anti-catarrhal agent, as well as for diseases of the gastric tract. For varicose veins, gout, rheumatism, rubbing with marjoram oil is used.
Garden marjoram leaves, with a subtle sweet aroma, are the most widely used culinary seasoning in European cuisine. They must be added to pâtés, roast goose and duck, mushroom and legume dishes. In a number of regions, marjoram is a necessary seasoning for minced dumplings. It is found in various spice mixtures. It is an indispensable component of ketchups, pizza sauces, in sausage production, for making pâtés. Garden marjoram is used to flavor instant meals in the food industry. Marjoram bushes are elegant throughout the growing season, attract bees during the flowering period and are good honey plants.
Garden marjoram is grown through seedlings, preparing it in the same way as oregano seedlings. But they are planted in open ground only when the danger of frost has passed. Young plants can suffer from frost damage. Place it on well-lit and sun-warmed areas, on light or medium-textured soils with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction, rich in organic matter. The feeding area of one plant is not less than 20x25 cm. For harvesting marjoram greens as a spice, cutting is done at the beginning of flowering, to obtain essential oil - during the period of mass flowering. For home cooking, you can take marjoram leaves from plants throughout the growing season.
Watering is required only when planting seedlings and during periods of prolonged drought.
In the period 2000-2004. in Russia, 5 varieties have been zoned, which are offered to amateur gardeners. These are such varieties as Baikal, Lakomka, Scandi, Thermos, Tushinsky Semko. Later, another new variety appeared - Kudesnik with abundant elegant greenery and a strong aroma.
But what is "oregano", and can this name be considered as a synonym for the name marjoram?
"Oregano" is one of the most widespread spices, known and widely used in cooking in various countries. The name "oregano" is the trade name for this spice. In most countries, its main constituent, as a rule, is one of the species of the genus marjoram (Origanum L.). And the name of the spice is undoubtedly associated with the name of this genus. However, the composition of this spice can vary and depends both on the country where it is produced and on the manufacturer itself, and in addition to marjoram, this spice can also include other aromatic plants.
According to literary sources, at least 61 species of seventeen genera of different botanical families are found under the name "oregano". Plants from the Lamiacea family predominate in this list. In addition to various types of marjoram, it includes plants such as monarda, calamint, coleus, basil, sage, thyme. In this list you can find plants from the Verbenaceae family (lipia or lemon verbena, lantana) and a number of representatives of other families.
So do not be surprised that the familiar spicy oregano seasoning will slightly change its aroma and taste.
It is possible to grow seeds of marjoram garden in the Northwest only in very limited quantities, using greenhouses and the seedling method of growing. His seed growing zone is the south of Russia. A small amount of oregano seeds with perennial crops can also be obtained in the Leningrad region.