Sweet Marjoram

Scientific Name: Origanum majorana

Common Name: Sweet Marjoram

Thomas Jefferson included marjoram in his list of "objects for the garden" in 1794.[1] In The Virginia Housewife (1824), cookbook author Mary Randolph called for sweet marjoram as seasoning in a recipe for roasted rabbit.[2]

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.

- Peggy Cornett, n.d.

Primary Source References

1820 February 28. (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."[3]Anchor

Further Sources


  1. ^ Betts, Garden Book, 208. Manuscript and transcription at the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts, Massachusetts Historical Society.
  2. ^ Mary Randolph, The Virginia Housewife (Baltimore: Plaskitt, Fite, 1838), 78.
  3. ^ PTJ:RS, 15:429. Transcription available at Founders Online.