A fragrant herb similar in use, appearance, growth, and maintenance requirements to marjoram (O. majorana), though it can be perennial (protection from winter wind is recommended). The olive-green leaves have an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter taste; the pinkish-purple flowers bloom from July to September. It is the staple herb of Italian-American and many other cuisines. Formerly known as Origanum heracleoticum. 0.5-1'H x 1-2'W. USDA Zones 4-8.