Origanum 'Kent Beauty'
Common name: Marjoram, oregano
Origanum 'Kent Beauty', an ornamental oregano noted for its unique and attractive flowers and foliage, belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), but does not spread like other mints. O. 'Kent Beauty' is considered one of the showiest of the ornamental oreganos. O. 'Kent Beauty' is an easy care plant, and is generally disease and pest free.
O. 'Kent Beauty' has drooping papery, hoplike, bracted flowers in shades of pink, cream, and green. Small, fragrant, blue-green leaves with silvery veins can be seen along long, wiry stems. O. 'Kent Beauty' grows to a height of about 15 centimetres (6 inches), and has a trailing habit. It benefits from being planted over an edge or wall. This oregano thrives in sunny locations. It has good heat and drought tolerance once established, but must be planted in a spot with good drainage. It should never sit in soggy soil.
The genus name Origanum may come from the Greek word 'oros' meaning mountain, and 'ganos' meaning beauty (beauty of the mountain). O. 'Kent Beauty' is thought to be a hybrid between Origanum rotundifolium and Origanum scabrum. It was found in an English garden as a chance seedling growing amongst the two species.
Origanum 'Kent Beauty' can be found in several spots around the garden. The photos were taken of the ones in Bed 32 across from the Cercis siliquastrum.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe