The plants are perennial, but not cold hardy. They are not as sweet as the Mediterranean oregano, but they have a stronger oregano taste. While Mediterranean oregano is about 2 % of the essential oil, called “carvacrol”, Mexican varieties tend to be 3 to 4%.
The stems are stiffer than Mediterranean oregano.
The leaves are darker green and somewhat larger than Mediterranean oregano, growing 1/4 to 1/2 inch (1/2 to 1 cm) long on a shrub that grows up to 7 feet (2 metres) tall, which blossoms with pink flowers throughout the summer. Fresh Mexican Oregano will likely have small flower buds on it.
The leaves have a sweet fragrance. The taste has aftertones of anise, like Mediterranean oregano, but up-front they have more of a grassy, floral taste.
Regular (Mediterranean) oregano