Hopley’s Purple Oregano
Hopley’s Purple Oregano (Origanum laevigatum) is a highly ornamental relative of the well-known culinary oregano, Origanum vulgare. Soft, gray-green leaves complement profuse purple-pink blooms that emerge on tall stalks in summer and last until fall. Hopley’s is extremely tough, tolerating summer drought and hot sun. While not flavorful enough for culinary use, the leaves are aromatic and can be used in potpourris.
I fell in love with ornamental oregano after seeing a photo of the wonderful dangling Kirigami cultivar in a seed catalog. (I promptly bought said seeds and grew a few Kirigami which rank up there as one of my favorite plants.). I’ve since been on the hunt for more varieties. When I asked for ‘Drops of Jupiter’ at a recent visit to Dennis’ 7 Dees, they offered Hopley’s as a substitute, and I gladly took it. The specimen looked a bit leggy and overgrown and still does after 2 weeks in the ground, but it’s still flowering, and the blooms are so beautiful that I’m loathe to give it the haircut it deserves. I’m looking forward to seeing its full potential next summer after it spends a year in the ground.
07/2023: Planted 1, 1-gallon next between salal and boulder under giant conifer in the back yard.