August 14, 2010

Kent Beauty

It's a pretty thing, Kent Beauty.  It's an origanum, a hybrid cross between two oreganos: rotundifolium and scabrum.  It has a faint, spicy scent when you brush the foliage, but it's not a cooking herb.  This is an ornamental oregano.

The hop-like blushing pink bracts around the flowers are kind of frilly looking, and in a breeze the whole plant shakes and shivers rather than bobbing about.


The leaves are tiny and sliver veined.  The flower bracts are dusty pink, facing downward in an overlapping hooded fashion, too shy and demure to look you straight in the face.


I have two Kent Beauty plants in two separate pots, one in a big concrete bowl with a pungent rosemary, and one by itself where it is filling out and spilling daintily over the edges.

They may not be reliably winter hardy here (this is my first year growing them), so I'll bring the pots into the unheated garage over winter.  I'll cut some of the bracts for dried flowers, keep the pots pretty dry until spring --- it's another plant that wants very very good drainage --- and with luck I'll get to enjoy these delicate, ruffly, soft looking oreganos next year.  I don't want to be without their gentle company on my deck.

10 comments:

  1. I'll follow your experience with the ornamental oregano ... I've considered trying some but have not yet. Lovely photos.

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  2. Oh Laurrie, I've wanted that beauty for a very long time! I'll be watching to see how she does over the winter...

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  3. Joene and Cyndy, I hope I'm not deluding myself about keeping this over winter in the unheated garage. We'll see!

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  4. I have not seen such a thing before. It is a beauty. Certainly worth bringing in during winter.

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  5. Lisa, it really is an unusual looking plant, isn't it!

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  6. Deborah, thanks for stopping by to check out this oregano.

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  7. oooh Laurrie, that is a pretty plant, never seen it before. Let us know how it does overwintering in New England. I think I'd like to try this beauty in a patio container....

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  8. Ellen, thanks, it really is a beauty! I hope it overwinters, we'll see.

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  9. Does anyone know if the Kent Beauty is toxic to cats? Just went through a terrible ordeal with my kitty and a lily. He is okay, but am afraid to introduce any plants I don't know are safe and I just received this as a gift and can find no info on it re: toxicity.

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