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Origanum majorana

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Common Name: Marjoram, Sweet Marjoram
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Little Water Moderate Water Herb & Spice Fragrant Dry Soils / Drought Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 0.6 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.3 m to 0.6 m


Native Distribution Northern Africa to Turkey
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Mediterranean
Local Conservation Status 1 Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Erect perennial herb up to 0.6 m tall.
Foliage Egg-shaped leaves occur in pairs along the stem.
Flowers The inflorescence is composed of a stack of hairy, egg-shaped bracts with small, tubular flowers inserted between the tightly packed bracts.
Fruits The dry, indehiscent fruit is known as a nutlet.
Habitat It naturally occurs in rocky areas and slopes up to 1500 m above sea level.
Cultivation Origanum majorana grows best in well-drained, sandy soil which is kept on the drier side. Leaves are most flavourful before flowering. Pinch the stem tips to encourage branching.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Herb and Spice : This herb is commonly used in Mediterranean and western European cuisine.)
Medicinal ( Sweet Marjoram is used in traditional medicine to help regulate the menstrual cycle. A study by Haj-Husein et al. (2016) concluded that marjoram tea reduced adrenal androgens and increased insulin sensitivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. According to Ayurveda (an Indian system of traditional medicine), Sweet Marjoram can be used to treat indigestion and flatulence. )

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Foliage)
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils, Alkaline high pH Soils

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Little Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Silver / Grey
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Silver / Grey
Young Flush Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Attenuate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Individual Flower Shape Labiate / Lipped
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 33590
Species ID 8004
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.