Herrenhausen and Hopley's Purple Oreganos

Herrenhausen and Hopley's Purple Oreganos
Gardeners can choose from quite a few ornamental oreganos. These include Herrenhausen and Hopley’s Purple oreganos.

Herrenhausen Oregano

This ornamental oregano originated in Germany. The species was native to Cyprus and Turkey.

The shrubby, upright rhizomatous plant is one foot to over 2½ feet in height with a matching spread. This perennial is recommended for zones four through nine. It thrives in a dry shallow rocky soil.

Herrenhausen oregano is recommended for edging, walkways, and containers. The plant grows to form a beautifully dense carpet.

This oregano is recommended for culinary purposes as well as an herbal remedy. It also makes a good dried flower.

The leaves turn red to nearly purple in the fall. The young leaves are also purple. The foliage is borne in rosettes. The leaves have a pleasant fruity scent.

The very free flowering plant blooms for an extended period from late summer throughout the fall. The flowers can be axillary or terminal. These can be purple, mauve, pinkish-purple, or deep red-violet pink. Borne in clusters, these are extremely showy. The blossoms appear on trailing, wiry flower stems. Pollinators love these flowers, which feature purple bracts.

Hopley’s Purple Oregano

Hopley’s Purple oregano is a type of ornamental oregano. It is available from Plant Delights Nursery and Mountain Valley Growers. It is also listed in the Well Sweep catalog and Richters.

A very strong, sturdy plant that can withstand drought and heat, this oregano is resistant to rabbits. It does well in dry sunny spots. This mostly prefers sun, but will tolerate part shade.

Hopley’s Purple oregano is recommended for borders, ground covers, rain gardens, and herb gardens. This is a culinary plant as well as a medicinal plant. The flowers can be dried, while the dried leaves are added to potpourri.

Sources differ as to Hopley’s Purple oregano’s hardiness. Most report it does best in zones six through eleven although Richters lists its hardiness as zone eleven.

This oregano is generally rather low and rounded with somewhat creeping stems. However, the flower stems can rise to two feet in height. It originated in England, and features deep greenish-purple to gray-green leaves, which have a mild spicy taste.

The lovely purple blossoms emerge from mid-summer into mid-fall, usually beginning in August. These are much loved by pollinators.

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