This site http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/Oregano.htm
has some good reading on some culinary oreganos.
I thought the purple stem variety was "Greek or Turkish" in origin. It turns out that it's the same species, but a different subspecies.
Check out http://www.herbsociety.org/origanum/ovulgare.php
which further details that there are many subspecies of Origanum vulgare
. They are calling a Russian subspecies as having "purple bracts" and I believe this is what you are refering to. The variety is referred to as Origanum vulgare
the supspecies gracile
If you look closely at the photo the bracts and the margin of the leaves are purple. (the photo is from another website). Just regular Greek oregano which is not purple is subspecies hirtum
I think many nurseries just call "Greek oregano" Greek oregano and they do not classify the subspecies. If you look at the bracts and the margin on the leaves you should be able to identify the russian subtype at any age.
I agree that this is a wonderful variety to grow. Italians are kick ass
, but don't let the name or color of the plant distract you from doing your own blind taste test. After all Italy represents a melting pot of the ancient world and certainly a lot of what makes it great today in cuisine was introduced from other parts of the world to the native species.