Cuban Oregano is a lush, aromatic herb that surpasses even many prolific weeds in its rate of growth.
Some years ago, a friend who ran a plant nursery gave me a single sprig of what she called “Cuban Oregano.” I did a computer search on it at the time and found absolutely nothing. But my friend had given me instructions. She told me to just stick the sprig in water and let it root. After roots were visible, I was to plant it in a pot. I did as instructed, and before long I had a huge, fuzzy, variegated plant. It was that simple. When I brushed by the leaves, the scent of oregano filled the entire room. I soon had to trim the plant, and I continued to root more cuttings. Then I needed bigger pots. A year down the road, I had Cuban Oregano in every room in the house, had given it to friends, and even sold some at my semi-annual yard sale. It seemed to thrive in part sun, but the leaves got bleached and dry when I tried it in full Summer sun.
I was told only one other thing about Cuban Oregano when I received it: “Even though it smells like other oregano, don’t eat it, it’s not edible.” I always passed that information on when I gifted or sold the plant. Until one day, when a friend from Trinidad was making a curried dish in my kitchen. She mumbled something about clipping some of the herbs for her dish and I saw her take the scissors to the Cuban Oregano. “Oh no,” I said, “that isn’t edible!”
“Of course it is,” she laughed, “it grows wild in Trinidad and we eat it all the time.”
I ran to the computer to check again. I did a search. I did find some information this time, and one article indicated that the plant was indeed edible. I ate the curry, and nothing awful happened. In fact, it tasted pretty good.
I still don’t cook with Cuban Oregano, mostly because the texture of its leaf is thick and fuzzy. But I continue to grow it, and to enjoy the look and the fragrance.
If you are looking for an easy and fast-growing plant, try to locate some Cuban Oregano. Ask around, anyone who has it would surely be willing to donate a sprig or two.