Plant of the Week: Rosenkuppel oregano

In New York City, home gardening can be a challenge. Looking up, you notice how people use any available space, be it on a fire escape, window box or on top of an air conditioner. Many choose to grow herbs, because often they are tough, have low water needs, smell great, attract pollinators and sometimes you can even eat them.

Here on the High Line we don't eat our plants, but in our sensory garden around the Pershing Square Beams, children and adults can enjoy their wonderful scents and textures. Most of the High Line is primarily a visual experience, but the sensory garden incorporates aroma as well, featuring several types of herbs, including mint, lavender and oregano. Currently our beautiful ornamental oregano is in bloom—Origanum 'Rosenkuppel'.

Photo by Ayinde Listhrop.

Oregano 'Rosenkuppel' is a member of the genus Origanum, (like all types of oregano). There are around twenty species in total and all are herbaceous perennials. Some are used in cooking, but this particular variety is not edible. The type we grow on the High Line, 'Rosenkuppel', can survive in USDA climate zones 5-8. It has stunning purplish flowers that bloom through the summer into fall. It's known to attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators and it handles the hot, sometimes dry conditions of the High Line without any difficulty. Although the plant is relatively small at only 15-18 inches, the vibrant blooms pop from the landscape. In the Netherlands it was voted Perennial of the Year in 1998 and seeing it in person you can understand why.

Photo by Ayinde Listhrop


Rosenkuppel is easy to grow and could be a great choice for space-limited city gardens. It grows well in a container, doesn't have many pest issues and is also deer resistant. Oregano is originally from a Mediterranean climate, so it likes full sun and doesn't need much water. In fact, it will be more likely to survive the winter if kept dry


Pershing Square Beams at 30th Street & 11th Avenue

The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. Every week we share one of our gardeners' current favorites with you.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line's most important gardening projects.

TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.

Recent Posts
Plant of the Week: Sea Lavender
view post
Open Encounter: A Conversation with Brendan Fernandes
view post