What we grow - Biodiversity



Oregano (Origanum) is a genus of dicotyledonous spermatophyte plants of the Lamiaceae family. The etymology of the name can be traced back to 2000 years earlier among the Greeks, perhaps from Theophrastus (371 B.C. – 287 B.C.) an ancient Greek philosopher and botanist, disciple of Aristotle, author of two extensive botanical treatises who first used this name for an aromatic herb. Origanum is made up of two words “òros” (Mount) and “ganào” (I am pleased) which together could allude to a concept of “mountain delight” or even “beauty, brightness, ornament, joy of the mountain”, or because it grows well in the mountains or in the upper floors of sunny areas. The scientific name of the genus was defined by Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), also known as Carl von Linné, Swedish biologist and writer considered the father of the modern scientific classification of living organisms, in the publication “Species Plantarum” of 1753.


These plants reach a maximum height of 70–80 centimeters are aromatic perennial herbaceous plants, with an upright and often leafless flower axis. The roots are secondary generated by a taproot, which can be oblique and more or less woody. The aerial part of the stem is ascending and possibly branchy, with the stem is sometimes woody, with four faces are concave. The leaves along the stem are arranged in the opposite way, are petiolate with a lanceolate or ovate-shaped lamina, often asymmetrical at the base, with serrated edges, green in color. The flowers are sessile, hermaphroditic, with two purplish-purple or green bracts with oval-rhombic shapes, ciliated on the edges and with a hairy surface. The fruit is ovoid (With rounded apex) with a glabrous and smooth surface, brown in color.


Oregano, on the recommendation of the Sicilian Region, was officially recognized as a typical Sicilian product and included in the list of traditional Italian agri-food products (P.A.T.) of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (Mipaaf), as it is one of the most aromatic herbs used in Mediterranean cuisine by virtue of its intense and stimulating scent in countless preparations on meat and fish, in salads and on pizza, especially in southern Italy and Sicily. Oregano is not only important for its use in cooking but also for its many therapeutic properties. Its active ingredients are mainly phenols, as well as fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. Its therapeutic properties are: analgesic, antiseptic, analgesic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stomachic and tonic. Its essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy. Its infusions are recommended against coughs, headaches, digestive disorders and rheumatic pains by carrying out an anti-inflammatory function.


Oregano tolerates poor soils and resists water scarcity, it even tolerates frost, even if intense cold can cause plants to die. It prefers sunny locations, heat and wind affect the aroma of the plant, the tastiest oregano, in fact, is the one that is grown and harvested in areas close to the sea. A really important thing is that there is no stagnation of water. It is important to do a good soil preparation, just to ensure a drainage so that it can expand well, incorporating a little compost or mature manure in a moderate dose. If this medicinal plant is grown in Northern Italy it would be advisable to protect it from winter frosts, through non-woven fabric covers and with a good mulching. Like many medicinal plants, oregano also has few parasites that can be annoying, among insects it can be attacked by aphids, also favored by the presence of ants. There is no need to prune oregano, simply remove the dead branches. Oregano lives well even in poor soils, which is why it does not require rich fertilizations and is satisfied with the fertility found in the soil. Oregano resists drought very well, so once the plant is well rooted it is watered little, only in special cases.