by Stephen Mifsud
   31 Jan 2023      ()
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Origanum majorana   (Marjoram)

Origanum majorana  (LAMIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Origanum majorana - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 31-Jan-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Origanum majoranaL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 590 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Majorana hortensis Moench
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Lamiaceae Lindl. (=Labiatae) (The Mint Family)
36 species from the Lamiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Marjoram, Sweet Organic, Sweet Majoram

Maltese name(s) :

Merqtux, Merdqux

Status for Malta :

Cultivated species. Introduced plants cultivated for agricultural or horticultural purposes but sometimes can be occassionaly found as an escapee close to the site of their original cultivation.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: HEMICRYPTOPHYTE ( prostate plants with flowers close to the ground )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – September

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

majorana: old name given to the herb marjoram. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Cultivated herb with casual escapees close to the site of cultivation namely field margins, footpaths and rubble walls near fields, farm houses, etc.
Botanical Description: Annual, biennial or perennial herb; stems 20-60 cm, erect or ascending, glabrous to tomentose, not papillose. Leaves 5-20(-35) x 5-10(-15) mm, ovate to elliptic-spathulate, obtuse or acute, rounded or attenuate at base, entire, grey- or white-tomentose to sparsely pilose and green; veins somewhat raised; lower leaves with petiole up to 15 mm, the others subsessile. Spicules 5-12 mm, globose, ovoid or oblong, densely grouped at the end of short branches, forming a narrow, terminal panicle. Bracts c. 3-4 mm, orbicular, tomentose, glandular-punctate. Calyx c. 2.5 mm, 1-lipped, with a deep slit on one side, ciliate. Corolla c. 4 mm, white, pale lilac or pink. Nutlets 0.75-1 mm, light brown.
Distributional range: Cultivated as a pot-herb and locally naturalized in S. Europe.
Native region outside Europe: (N. Africa, S.W. Asia.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in  Corse, Switzerland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Cy Tu(A) [Ag Az Bt Co Gr He Hs It Ju Ma Md Tn Uk(K U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (10 images)
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-0.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-1.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-2.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-3.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-4.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-5.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-6.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-7.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-8.
   Origanum majorana   -   Image Code: ORGMA-9.

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