A total of 49 marjoram accessions were evaluated for their suitability as starting material for a European Union funded project on breeding research. They were cultivated in a field experiment in the region of middle Germany in 1996. The investigated populations revealed a high variability of most traits: Precocity, height of plant at harvest, yield of leaf-flower fraction, essential oil content, trans-sabinene-hydrate content of the essential oil and sensorial impression. The high variation of important traits is a good prerequisite for deriving starting material for the prospective breeding program. 44 accessions are grouped by means of a cluster analysis on 68 variables, resulting in 9 disjoint clusters. 6 selected clusters are described with respect to economically important traits.