Origanum ‘Nymphenburg’

Taisha is both the author and photographer with today’s entry.

The ornamental Origanum ‘Nymphenburg’ is a member of the Lamiaceae, or mint family. This photo was taken this past summer in late July in UBC Botanical Garden’s E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden. From a browsing of search engine results, this cultivar is little-known in North America. It seems to have originated in Europe (where it can be found with some effort in the horticulture trade), and presumably it is named after either Nymphenburg Palace or Nymphenburg Porcelain. Of those two options, it is most likely to be named after the castle and its gardens.

Origanum contains about 60 species, known commonly as the oreganos and marjorams. Some are cultivated for culinary use, but as noted above, Origanum ‘Nymphenburg’ is primarily an ornamental cultivar. This aromatic perennial herb holds ovate leaves arranged oppositely on a square stem. Many bilabiate flowers of purple are collected terminally in a corymbose-panicle. The attractive inflorescence of this taxon appeals to numerous insect visitors, including, on this day, Neophasia menapia, commonly known as the pine white (butterfly).

Botany resource link (added by Daniel): a macro timelapse video of germinating seeds and opening leaf & flower buds by Daniel Csobot.

Origanum 'Nymphenburg'

6 responses to “Origanum ‘Nymphenburg’”

  1. Anna

    Cool video! I will never look at a plant in the same way again. I will see them all as alien creatures now! Creepy.

  2. Stephen

    German breeders have been at the forefront of a number of garden-worthy plants, such as ornamental oreganos, grasses.
    It seems to take quite some time for worthy plants to make it from the Continent to England, then the USA.

  3. Daniel Mosquin

    We originally received this cultivar in 1994, but as far as I can tell from the search engines, it doesn’t seem to appear in either nursery catalogues or other gardens in North America. On the other hand, that does mean it has survived in UBC Botanical Garden for nearly 20 years.

  4. Peony Fan

    Wow! Wonderful photo; the color contrast is great. The oregano seems to carry its flowers on red stems.

  5. Jessica

    Beautiful…both flower and butterfly. A real knockout.

  6. karen

    Wow! so this plant isn’t anywhere else on the continent? I LOVE seeing the unusual..what I wouldn’t give to start growing this, although in Florida that could be difficult! 😉

Leave a Reply