Origanum watsoni Schmidt
Rhizomatous aromatic perennial; roots fibrous. Stems several, often branched from base, c. 40 (-100) cm, thinly to densely pilose with adpressed or spreading hairs, or glabrous, leafy, purplish or green. Leaves simple, entire, ovate to narrow elliptic, 5-30 (-40) x 3-20 (-30) mm, gland-dotted, apex acute or obtuse, with scattered hairs or glabrous, leaf buds or young leaves usually in leaf axils; petiole to 20 mm. Inflorescence often much and regularly branched; branches rather slender. Verticillasters 2-flowered; spicules erect, 5-20 x c. 5 mm. Bracts 3-10 x 2-7 mm, imbricate, oblong-obovate to narrow oblong, pale green to purplish, glabrous and glaucous to pubescent, half as long to twice as long as calyces. Calyx 2-4 mm long, tubular, glabrous or with few or many spreading hairs, usually gland-dotted; teeth up to 1/2 length of tube. Corolla 5-10 mm, rose, purple or white. Anterior pair of stamens subexserted (in hermaphrodite flowers). Nutlets oblong, terete, c. 0.8-1 x 0.5 mm, dark or pale brown, minutely granulate.
Fl. Per.: June to October.
Type: Described from "Europe and Canada" (LINN 743/9 - microfiche!).
Distribution: Macaronesia, S. Europe, Mediterranean countries, SW and C. Asia, along the Himalayan area to China and Taiwan.
Ietswaart (1982) recognized 2 subspecies from Pakistan, subsp. gracile (C. Koch) Ietswaart and subsp. viride (Boiss.) Hayek, based on density of the indumentum and punctate glands, bracts and flower colour. After studying the rather abundant material now available from Pakistan. I concluded that, at least in our area, these subspecies were untenable; and, because the variation was so great and continuous, even varietal rank was not merited. R. R. Stewart (Pak. Journ. For. 1957-58: 100) remarked that Origanum vulgare was one of the commonest mints on dry banks; and often was a pioneer on land slips.