Perennial branching herbs, some species shrubby, with rather small crenate-dentate or entire leaves, and small bracted pink or purple flowers, in dense terminal glomerules. Calyx ovoid or campanulate, villous in the throat, about 13-nerved, 5-toothed or more or less 2-lipped. Corolla-limb 2-lipped, the upper lip erect, emarginate or 2-lobed, the lower longer, spreading, 3-cleft. Stamens 4, didynamous, ascending; anthers 2-celled, the sacs divergent. Style 2-cleft at the summit; ovary deeply 4-parted. Nutlets ovoid or oblong, smooth. [Greek, mountain-joy.]

About 30 species, natives of the Old World, the following typical.

1. Origanum Vulgare L. Wild Marjoram. Winter Sweet. Organy

Fig. 3658

Origanum vulgare L. Sp. Pl. 590. 1753.

Perennial from nearly horizontal rootstocks, villous or hirsute; stem erect, slender, 1°-2 1/2° high. Leaves ovate, petioled, obtuse or subacute at the apex, rounded or subcordate at the base, crenate or entire, 1'-1 1/2' long, often with smaller ones, or short leafy branches, in their axils; flower-clusters often 2' broad; bracts purplish, ovate or oval, about equalling the nearly regularly 5-toothed calyx; corolla pink, purple or nearly white, longer than the calyx, the upper lobe broad; all four stamens, or the two longer, exserted.

In fields and waste places, Ontario to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Naturalized from Europe. Native also of Asia. Called also organs, pot-marjoram. July-Sept.

1 Origanum Vulgare L Wild Marjoram Winter Sweet Or 329