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Sweet Marjoram

Sweet Marjoram

Common Name: Sweet Marjoram[1]

Scientific Name: Origanum majorana

Thomas Jefferson included marjoram in his list of "objects for the garden" in 1794.[2] In her cook book The Virginia House-wife (1824), Mary Randolph used sweet marjoram as seasoning in her recipe for roasted rabbit.[3]

Sweet marjoram was used by the Greeks, and was one of the common pot-herbs found in most early American gardens. It was widely used in beverages and broths, meats, baked goods, stuffing, and condiments. It is an aromatic, biennial herb grown as an annual with small, soft gray foliage and terminal heads of white flowers. The fragrance is reminiscent of nutmeg and cardamom.

Primary Source References[4]

1820 February 20. (George Divers to Jefferson). "I am sorry I cannot supply you with all the pot-herbs wanted,we have not the Sweet Marjoram, sweet basil, or summer savory."[5]


  1. This section is based on a Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet.
  2. Betts, Garden Book, 208. Manuscript and transcription at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  3. Randolph, [Virginia House-Wife (Baltimore, Plaskitt, Fite, 1838), 78.
  4. Please note that this list should not be considered comprehensive.
  5. Betts, Garden Book, 591.

Further Sources


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