Wild marjoram

Wild Marjoram

©Northeast Wildlife

Wild marjoram

Scientific name: Origanum vulgare
Wild marjoram is actually the same aromatic herb as oregano which is used in Mediterranean cooking. Its small, pink flower clusters can be seen on chalk and limestone grasslands in summer.

Species information


Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status


When to see

June to September


Oregano is a classic and aromatic Mediterranean herb often used in cooking. But did you know that it's the same species as our wild marjoram? In the cooler climate of the UK, wild marjoram develops a slightly different scent, but it is still an excellent herb for use in the kitchen. It can be found growing on chalk and limestone grasslands in summer, its pinky flowers appearing between June and September. Like many of our native plants, wild marjoram is an excellent food source for all kinds insects, so try planting it in your garden to provide a 'nectar-cafe'!

How to identify

Wild marjoram is an aromatic, perennial herb that has oval leaves which appear in pairs on its reddish stems. Dense, rounded clusters of small, pink flowers grow on the ends of its stems.


Found throughout the UK (particularly in the south), but scarcer in Scotland.

Did you know?

Along with basil, oregano (or wild marjoram) is one of the most commonly used herbs in Italian and Greek cooking, flavouring everything from tomato-based sauces to pizzas, salads and grilled meats.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways grasslands are kept in good condition. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.