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Cuban Oregano

:  Plectranthus amboinicus
SYNONYMS:  Coleus amboinicus,  Coleus aromaticus 
COMMON NAMES:  Indian Borage (also see below)
FAMILY:  Lamiaceae
HABIT:  Tender, fleshy perennial plant with an oregano-like flavor and odor, native to Southern and Eastern Africa, from South Africa and Swaziland to Angola and Mozambique and north to Kenya and Tanzania. It is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in the tropics. It is a large succulent herb, fleshy and highly aromatic, highly branched, possessing short soft erect hairs, with distinctive smelling leaves. Leaves can be solid green or variegated with white edges and are undivided (simple), broad, egg/oval-shaped with a tapering tips and very thick. They are pubescent (thickly studded with hairs), with the lower surface possessing the most numerous glandular hairs, giving a frosted appearance. The taste of this leaf is pleasantly aromatic with agreeable and refreshing fragrance. Flowers are on a short stem pale, purplish in dense whorls at distant intervals in a long slender raceme.
USES:  It is used as a decorative plant and for culinary reasons. The leaves are strongly flavored and make an excellent addition to stuffing for meat and poultry. Finely chopped, they can also be used to flavor meat dishes, especially beef, lamb and game. It is used as a substitute for regular oregano in the food trade and food labeled "oregano-flavored" may well contain this herb. Used as an ornamental and for its essential oils. The leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion, but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence. 
CULTURE:  This herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It is frost tender (USDA hardiness zones 10-11) and grows well in subtropical and tropical locations, but will do well in cooler climates if grown in pots and brought indoors, or moved to a warm, sheltered position in winter. The plant should be watered only sparingly. Propagation is by stem cuttings. It is a very commonly grown as a potted plant or in hanging baskets and is fast-growing. 
NOTES:  This plant as more common names than any other plant I’ve studied.
Here are a few:
Country borage
French thyme 
Indian borage
Indian mint 
Mexican mint 
Spanish thyme 
Big thyme 
Thick leaf thyme or broad leaf thyme 
Poor man pork or broad leaf thyme 
Broadleaf thyme, Mexican thyme, queen of herbs, three-in-one herb, allherb and mother of herbs.


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