Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the two herbs listed below.

There is lots of discussion about "Mexican Oregano"!  Here is some information that I have compiled! 

Well, "Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the two herbs listed below.  There is at least one other herb that is referred to as Mexican Oregano, but as far as I understand, it is not considered a culinary herb and it does not grow well in Texas! 

Poliomintha longiflora and Lippia graveolens are the ones most commonly grown as "Mexican Oregano" here in Texas with P. longiflora being slightly hardier than the L. graveolens.  Find information about both below.


The P. longiflora is more attractive with the light mauve-pink, tubular flowers that hummingbirds love, and it stays smaller growing to about 3'. I have found that it can take a little more humidity and lower temperatures than the L. graveolens. It is considered to have the hotter taste of the two and is used in Mexican cooking as is the L. graveolens. It likes full sun but can tolerate partial sun during the afternoons.

Botanical Name
Poliomintha longiflora
Common Name
Mexican Oregano
Cultural Requirements
Full sun to part shade. Low water usage.
Mature size, Spacing
Ht: to 3' or so, 40" wide. Woody shrub.
Other Information
Light pink, tubular flowers cover this shrubby plant during the warm weather. Although not a true oregano, the narrow shiny green leaves are full of real oregano flavor. Dries well.
Courtesy of The Herb Cottage

Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is a strong-smelling plant popular in Mexico and Texas. Excellent for hot, humid areas, this woody shrub grows 3 feet tall. The small green leaves yield an essential oil similar to that of oregano and are used in cooking. Its tubular flowers of white to lavender blue attract hummingbirds.

South of the Border: Mexican Herbs for Texas
By Ann McCormick

Mexican Oregano
If you have room for just one native herb, then Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is your best choice. The leaves of this shrubby herb are a somewhat spicy replacement for garden oregano. When substituting, reduce the amount in your recipe to about two-thirds of garden oregano.

Mexican oregano likes full sun but will also grow in partial shade. This graceful perennial provides lovely color through summer and into fall with tubular white, pink and lavender flowers. It generally reaches 3 feet. In my shade garden, however, it is prostrate, growing no higher than about 10 inches. Although native to the drier regions of Texas, it can adapt to the humid gulf area. It can also be grown in containers, where it will delight you with a cascade of showy flowers.

Mexican oregano (Poliomintha longiflora) is doing very well with minimal water, and it's covered in the pinky-purple flowers it's known for. This is an underused plant. It has great flavor, is evergreen during the winter in our part of the state, and flowers during the hottest part of the summer.

The L. graveolens is not as pretty as the P. longiflora, with small yelow-white flowers and growing to a lanky 5', but in my humble opinion, it has a better spicy oregano flavor than the P. longiflora. It is closely related to Aloysia triphylla (lemon verbena) which was once classified as Lippia citriodora. It likes full sun and well-drained, sandy soil and hot climates. I finally lost mine after 5 years. I think it was because it wasn't planted in full sun.

Botanical Name
Lippia graveolens
Common Name
Mexican Oregano
Tender Perennial
Cultural Requirements
Full sun to part shade. Low water usage.
Mature size, Spacing
Ht: 4' to 5'. Shrubby in form.
Other Information
Native of Mexico. Very pungent oregano flavor and aroma. Very tasty in salsa. Long lasting flavor when dried.
Courtesy of The Herb Cottage

It's a slender aromatic shrub or small tree, whose pubescent (felty) branches bear rounded to obtuse, bluntly serrated leaves. Fragrant flowers are yellowish or white with a yellow eye and occur throughout the year, especially after rains.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia) lippia graveolens Oregano, Mexican (Lippia graveolens) This is probably the better known of the "Mexican Oreganos" in this country. Actually a relative of Lemon Verbena, this grows as a small shrub, reaching 3-5 feet in one season in Zone 5. Much of the oregano used commercially in the U.S. is actually this one. North of zone 8 it should be grown as a tender perennial

Both of these Mexican Oreganos are tender perennials, growing in zones 9-11, and can be propagated from cuttings and are well worth growing here in south Texas.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Days like today, make for perfect "soup weather"!

It's cold and rainy here today! Days like today, make for perfect "soup weather"! I was looking for some recipes, and found this one by Epicurious! The following recipe is courtesy of website:

Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs recipe

Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs Bon Appétit | February 2008

Deborah Madison

Yield: Makes 6 servings



  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock or 5 to 6 cups purchased organic chicken broth


  • 2 crustless slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, torn
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage


For soup:

Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash and coarse salt; sauté until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot. Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.

For breadcrumbs:

Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Savory, Herb of the Year 2015" by Cindy Meredith

Winter Savory in the foreground and Summer Savory in the background.
Photo by Linda Turner Collins

Hey Herbies!

We had a great turn out yesterday for Cindy's program on "Savory, Herb of the Year 2015". Next month Cindy Meredith and Ruth Hoese are presenting a program on the book The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks

Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol.

You won't want to miss this upcoming program Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 10:00, location ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas.

Also be sure to check out Rockport Herbies Blog for lots of good gardening information. Cindy, Ruth and I try to keep it updated with articles. 
Here is an article about savory by Cindy Meredith: 

Also here are a few sites for you to check out about herbs.



We are an open group and encourage everyone to come and invite others to learn about the fascinating world of herbs.

Come and learn everything you ever wanted to know about herbs. Did you know that there are over 2,000 herbs and that roses are herbs too? And did you know that many of our Texas Native Plants are herbs also? Herbs have been used for centuries for not only culinary purposes, but also for medicinal uses, cosmetics, cleaning solutions, clothing (one of which is Gossypium cotton), building supplies, dyes. arts and crafts.

Our herb study group was founded in March 2003 and meets the second Wednesday of every month at the ACISD Maintenance Department (Formerly Rockport Elementary), 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, Texas at 10:00 a.m. to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs including the historical uses of the herbs and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. We are open to the public. Some members of the group are available as speakers to other audiences, so please contact us if you need a speaker to present an herb program.

The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to increasing public knowledge and awareness about herbs.

In the meantime,
Great Gardening,