But how do you tell the difference?
Oregano is on the left. Marjoram is on the right.
Oregano leaves are more pointed and covered in tiny hairs. The edges are slightly toothed or jagged. It’s a tougher, evergreen plant that often gets unruly/straggly.
Marjoram leaves are more rounded with smooth edges.
There’s a big difference in flavour – Oregano tends to be pungent, spicy and bitter. It is roughly twice as strong as marjoram and can over-power delicate flavours. It can be used in slow-cooked stews and tomato sauces and will maintain its flavour.
Marjoram is sweet, floral and woodsy and is best added just at the end of cooking or added fresh to salads. It’s milder in flavour so you can use more of it that oregano. It loses its flavour with prolonged cooking.