Native Oregano 'Prostanthera rotundifolia' 14 cm pot
Native Oregano (aka. Round-leaf Mint Bush) is a type of native mint, used traditionally as a medicinal herb for treating headaches and colds. These days, it’s more common as a culinary herb and ornamental bush. It grows wild in temperate regions of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania — though it is listed as a vulnerable species in Tasmania.
A strongly aromatic herb, Native Oregano is a superior native substitute for common oregano. It’s less sweet in flavour with earthier tones and a slightly citric tang. Use it to add flavour in salads, savoury meat dishes, sauces, or steep in hot water to make a fragrant herbal tisane.
Harvest by plucking the leaves and softer stems off the growing plant, or prune whole stalks at a time. Leaves may be used fresh, or chopped and dried for later use — just remember the aroma and flavour in harvested leaves will fade over time.
Though Native Oregano will tolerate light frosts and full sun, it prefers temperate, partly shaded conditions. Choose a soil that drains easily, and water well in Summer. Enjoy the attractive dark green foliage of this evergreen shrub year round, with a bonus explosion of pink cup-shaped flowers through September and October.
This species of mint is a fast-growing shrub, reaching up to 2m tall and 1m wide, though it is easily kept small in pots. Perfect for gaps, edges, narrow beds near side fences, or an edible hedge or screen — just prune it regularly for bushier growth.