Yesterday, I found this variegated Cuban oregano plant for only a couple of bucks at a small parking lot nursery. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I wish the internet had smell-o-vision and you could get a whiff of this thing through the screen. Delicious, pungent, sweet, and strange all at once. A lot of new plants have come into my life this spring, but I am probably most excited about this one.
Maybe. I don’t know, ask me again tomorrow. My favourites tend to change rapidly throughout the growing season. Two days ago it was a variegated hot pepper plant. I experienced a recurring love affair with the ‘Tom Thumb’ peas just five minutes ago. With so much happening in the garden from day-to-day, it’s hard to stick to any one plant. They all have their moments!
I haven’t come to any solid conclusions about Broadleaf thyme, aka Cuban oregano, Coleus amboinicus, aka Plectranthus amboinicus since I last wrote about it in 2007. I still can’t say definitively which is which; however, I have come upon several plants since then and there are distinct differences. About a year ago, at a small corner shop, I have found a type for sale with a similarly distinct and pungent aroma, but with much smaller leaves and softer fuzz than the plants I am familiar with.
I have also seen the plant cultivated in Cuba, and it was the one I’ve had for a few years now, the one I previously referred to as broadleaf thyme. Given that I saw the plant in Cuba, I’ve since switched to referring to it as Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus var.) and will continue to do so until I am convinced otherwise.
Do you have any experiences growing and eating these plants? have you come to any conclusions about the name?