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Poliomintha maderensis, photo courtesy of Rob Cardillo
Poliomintha maderensis, photo courtesy of Rob Cardillo

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Zones 8-24

Poliomintha maderensis

Mexican Oregano, Lavender Spice

Evergreen, Shrubs


These are mint relatives with the family’s typical squarestems; paired opposite leaves;tubular, two-lipped flowers; andstrong, often pleasant aroma.Well-grown plants reach about3 ft. high and wide. Very tolerant of many soils.

Poliomintha maderensis

Native to eastern Mexico. Habit varies from somewhat cascading to upright; reaches about 3 ft. high and wide. Leaves are shiny deep green, less than 1/2 in. long, with odor and flavor of true oregano (Origanum). Long-tubed (1–1 1/2 in.) flowersopen lavender, deepen to purple, and finally fade to white; all three colors are present on the plant at once. Long bloom season, from late spring into fall. Stems are brittle, so locate away from high-traffic areas. Give light shade in hottest desert regions, full sun elsewhere.

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