Origanum Libanoticum or Hopflower oregano is native to the mountains of Lebanon. This species of oregano is ornamental. It has attractive flowers and foliage and is not used for culinary purposes. It’s exceptionally sun loving. They have tiny pink or purple florets peeking out of prominent papery bracts that cascade over rocks in the wild. Their Flowers bloom summer to fall from August to October. The flowers elongate as the summer progresses, eventually drying to a papery brown by summer’s end. Loved by bees, they are found in the very North and South of Lebanon (Quammouha, Qoubaiyat, Bcharrem…).
Just like having a favorite flower; everyone should have a favorite ornamental herb, it brings such life to ones home and to nature. This is mine. Its color comes not from the diminutive flowers they have, but from the light lilac hued bracts, this leaf-like part of the plant that is found just beneath the flower. I love how it looks different depending on the light it’s in. The fragile little purple flowers peak their heads out from under the leaves shyly and jingle merrily from it. If you stare at that flower long enough, you’ll see a little fairy-like creature discretely and elegantly peaking out of it. Its leaves are a perfect waterfall of chartreuse and lilac pink. They cascade over rocks gently as if protecting them from the sun.
This little leafy green herb with little purple flowers carries somehow the soul of its country. It’s small and understated, growing shyly yet confidently among rocks. It grows roots in the land and builds strength to grow out of them. Just like the Lebanese it loves the sun that bathe it during the summer period. It hides or dries in wintertime just like us only to flower again as the weather starts to warm. Like us it is native of this land and carries its family name proudly. For me it carries something extra special as it is originally born here and somehow carries our history with its roots. No matter where you plant the seeds, it will always be from here and it will always be called Origanum Libanoticum.
I have one planted at home on our little balcony and every time I sit outside, she reminds me that just like me, as insignificant as we might seem, come rain or shine, we are here to stay proud of our roots and proud of ourselves. And we grow, we grow from our knowledge that no matter what, this too shall pass and we will flower when the time is right.
Because this place we call home is so diverse in beautiful plant life that are originally from our parcel of land, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton