Herb: Dittander

Latin name: Lepidium latifolium

Family: Cruciferae

Medicinal use of Dittander:

The plant is antiscorbutic, depurative and stomachic. An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of liver and kidney diseases, it increases cardiac amplitude, decreases frequency and regulates the rhythm. It is also used as a resolvent in the treatment of skin diseases.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Salt marshes and wet sands on the south and east coasts.

Edible parts of Dittander:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. A very hot cress-like flavour. The leaves are nice when used in small quantities as a flavouring in salads. Some reports also suggest using them as a potherb, though they have always seemed to be too strong for us to want to try this. The leaves are available very early in the year. Root - it can be grated and made into a sauce which is used as a horseradish substitute. It has a pungently hot flavour. Seed - used as a condiment.

Other uses of the herb:

Used as an insecticide. No further details are given, but it is likely to be a strong infusion of the leaves and stems that is used.

Propagation of Dittander:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the spring. Division in spring. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Division is very simple and succeeds at almost any time of the year.

Cultivation of the herb:

Salt marshes and wet sands on the south and east coasts.

Known hazards of Lepidium latifolium:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.