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WILD MARJORAM Origanum vulgare (Lamiaceae) Height to 50cm. Downy and tufted perennial. The plant (mainly the leaves) has a pleasantly aromatic smell, familiar to lovers of culinary herbs and the stems are often reddish. Grows in dry grassland on calcareous soils. FLOWERS are maroon when in bud but 6-8mm long and pinkish purple when flowering; borne in dense, terminal clusters that also include purplish bracts (Jul-Sep). FRUITS are nutlets. LEAVES are oval, pointed and borne in opposite pairs. STATUS-Widespread and locally common the S but scarce elsewhere.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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