Shrubby plant with 1 1/2-inch-long leaves grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Perennial. Zones vary.
BEST CULINARY VARIETIES: Greek (O. vulgare hirtum) has gray green leaves; zones 8-9, 12-24. Italian (O. x majoricum) has milder bright green leaves; zones 4-24.
GROWING TIP: Needs especially good drainage. Plants thrive on little to moderate water.
HARVEST TIP: Oil is strongest when the plant is in bud but before flowers open. Cut back to 4 inches tall in late spring, summer, and fall.
USES: Beans, cheeses, eggs, meats, pastas, salsas, sauces, soups, stews, and vegetables.
USES: Bouquets garnis, breads, casseroles, cheeses, eggs, fish, grains, marinades, meats, mushrooms, poultry, soups, stews, tomato-based sauces, and vegetables.