Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Origanum majorana
L., Lamiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Majorana hortensis Moench; Majorana majorana (L.) H. Karst.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: marjoram, pot marjoram, sweet marjoram

French: marjolaine

Spanish: mayorama, mejorana, mejram

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Subshrub. Stems up to 80 cm, grey pubescent with antrorse hairs. Leaves up to 25 x 25 mm, oblong to suborbicular, obtuse, greyish white with short adpressed hairs, petiolate. Flowers in compact subglobose or 4-angled spikes, c. 6 x 4 mm. Bracts greyish white broad obovate, apically rounded, greyish white and gland-dotted. Calyx c. 2 x 1.5 mm, sheath-like, pubescent, gland-dotted. Corolla white, 3-7 mm. Nutlets suborbicular c. l x 1 mm"  (Flora of Pakistan online).

"A bushy half-hardy perennial sub-shrub that is often grown as an annual. It is 1-2 ft (0.3-0.6 m) tall with descending, multi-branched stems that spill over to create a mound. Since the stems take root where they touch the soil, the mound gradually increases in diameter. If grown in a hanging basket, the stems form a a cascade of attractive gray-green foliage. Sweet marjoram's oval leaves are soft and fuzzy, but you need a hand lens to see the short fine hairs. They are opposite each other on a square stem, which is typical of plants in the mint family. The leaves get up to 1 in (2.5 cm) long and have a wonderful, very distinctive, perfumy fragrance when bruised. The flowers are tiny, less than 1/8 in (0.3 cm) long and arranged in burr-like heads 1/2 in (1.3 cm) long"  (Floridata).

Habitat/ecology:  "Sweet marjoram does best in a well-drained, slightly limey soil. It prefers full to nearly full sun"  (Floridata).

Propagation:  Seed and rooting from the nodes.

Native range:  Cyprus; northern Turkey; widely cultivated, sometimes naturalized, especially in the Mediterranean region (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 460, 463, 555)
Voucher cited: Danton I(5/286)1631
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 460, 463, 555)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1995) (voucher ID: BISH 645406)
Taxon name on voucher: Origanum majorana L.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1941) (voucher ID: BISH 460831)
Taxon name on voucher: Origanum majorana L.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 69)
Vouchers cited: Baumann 11509, MacKee 14281, MacKee 20956
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania


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This page was created on 12 FEB 2011 and was last updated on 4 APR 2011.