Oregano (Origanum vulgare), also called origanum or wild marjoram, aromatic perennial herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae) known for its flavorful dried leaves and flowering tops. Oregano is native to the hills of the Mediterranean countries and western Asia and has naturalized in parts of Mexico and the United States. The herb has long been an essential ingredient of Mediterranean cooking and is widely used to season many foods. Culinary varieties, such as Greek or Italian oregano, have a strong aroma and a warm pungent taste. Ornamental cultivars are typically blander in flavor and not suitable for cooking.