Oregano is in the mint family(Lamiaceae); related to basil, sage, lavender and thyme. The tiny white flowers appear between bracts. The bees love them, but don't stay long at each tiny flower, making photos of them difficult.
For the best flavor, one shouldn't allow the plant to flower, but I always do because I like to share with the bees. But I keep one plant trimmed and use that for cooking. Here is one of my favorite recipes that uses oregano. I posted about it in November.
Braised Fennel and White Beans
1 medium fennel (also called anise) bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4" slices (about 3 cups)
1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and cut lengthwise into 1/4" slices (about 2 cups)
1 can (15oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, plus a handful of whole leaves for garnish
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Heat the oil in a heavy saute pan over med-hi heat. Add fennel and onion, and cook stirring occasionally until tender and edges are brown, about 10 minutes.
Add beans, stock, chopped oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar and butter, put in serving bowl, garnish with oregano leaves.
This recipe can easily be doubled, but everything takes a little longer. In fact, we usually double it because the leftovers are so popular.