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Mexican Oregano (Lippia graveolens) Essential Oil
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Lippia graveolens - Kunth
Common Name Mexican Oregano, Redbrush Lippia
Botanical name: Lippia graveolens Kunth
Plant family: Verbenaceae
Country of origin: El Salvador
Part of plant: Blossom/Plant
Major compounds: Carvacrol, Paracymene, gamma-Terpinene, beta-Caryophyllene, Thymol, Myrcene
Goniostachyum graveolens (Kunth) Small Lantana origanoides M.Martens & Galeotti Lippia berlandieri M
Mexican Oregano, Karabo, Mexican marjoram, Mexican wild sage, Te de pais, amerikanisches oregano, hierba dulce, mexican oregano, mexican sage, mexican-sage, mexikansk oregano, oregano, oregano cimmaron, origan marjolaine, orégano, redbrush lippia, scented lippia, scented matgrass.
Lippia graveolens (Mexican oregano) An evergreen shrub to 5 feet tall by equal width with aromatic small oblong olive green pleated leaves and from spring through fall appear the fragrant small yellow centered cream flowers that are held in clusters that resemble those of Lantana. Plant in full sun and irrigate occasionally to hardly at all - this is a very drought tolerant plant! Hardy to around 30 °F and though it may drop leaves in cold years, it will usually resprout in spring. Though a bit unruly looking and not terribly long lived (most estimate not much more than 10 years), the flowers are attractive and the leaves are very useful for culinary purposes and it also reportedly attracts nectar feeding butterflies, bees and other insects as well as seed eating birds. Lippia graveolens is native to the most southern tip of Texas, south through Mexico into Central America. The name for the genus honors the French naturalist and botanist Augustus Lippi, (1678-1705) and the specific epithet is from the Latin words 'gravis' meaning "heavy" and 'oleo' meaning "oil" in reference to the aromatic oils of this species. It is usually commonly called Mexican oregano but also redbrush lippia, Scented lippia, scented matgrass and in Mexico it is called orégano cimarrón, meaning "wild oregano". The leaves are used extensively as an herb in Mexico and Central America for their strong oregano flavor, which some declare is stronger than true Oregano, Origanum vulgare. Though these plants share similar essential oils, Lippia graveolens is unrelated to true Oregano, which is a member of the mint family, the Lamiaceae. Two other plants in the mint family are also called Mexican Oregano, Poliomintha longiflora and Monarda fistulosa var. menthifolia. Our thanks go out to our friend John Bleck for sharing this interesting plant with us. The information presented on this page is based on research that we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens we have visited, as well how it performs in our nursery crops out in the field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information that would aid others in growing Lippia graveolens.