The WALA Plant Library
Sweet Marjoram

Synonyms for Sweet Marjoram: knotted marjoram, Majorana hortensis, wurstkraut, summer marjoram
Scientific Name: Origanum majorana L.
Family: Labiatae or Lamiaceae (mint family)


Many people are familiar with marjoram as an ingredient in rich, fatty dishes to aid digestion. This flavoursome plant belongs to the large mint family which also includes such well-known herbs as thyme, basil, sage, rosemary, savoury, mint and many more. Its fine, square stems are reddish and multi-branched; its leaves oval with a fuzzy, silvery-green covering and many oil glands, and the compact plant grows to a height of up to 50 centimetres. The reddish to whitish flowers grow in clusters of spikes or ‘knots’, giving it its name of knotted marjoram. Sweet marjoram flowers from June to September. This warmth-loving, frost-sensitive perennial does not survive frosty winters: in our climate it is cultivated as an annual.