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marjoram

marjoram or sweet marjoram mär´jərəm [key], Old World perennial aromatic herb ( Marjorana hortensis ) of the family Labiatae ( mint family), cultivated in gardens for flavoring. The tops yield origanum oil, once used medicinally but more recently for perfuming soaps. The closely related European pot, or wild, marjoram ( Origanum vulgare ) has similar uses and is the spice usually sold as oregano , although other species may be called oregano. The generic names Marjorana and Origanum are frequently interchanged. Marjoram is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Lamiales, family Labiatae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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