Herb: Dittany Of Crete

Latin name: Origanum dictamnus

Synonyms: Amaracus dictamnus

Family: Labiatae

Medicinal use of Dittany Of Crete:

The flowering plant has been used as an antirheumatic, oxytocic, stomachic and vulnerary, though these uses appear to be obsolete in modern herbalism.

Description of the plant:


20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Shady rocks in dry places in high mountains.

Edible parts of Dittany Of Crete:

The leaves are used for flavouring salads and vermouth. A pleasant aromatic flavour, especially when mixed with parsley, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. The flowering tops are dried and brewed into a herb tea.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse at 10 - 13C and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring. Division in March or October. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Basal cuttings of young barren shoots in June. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Cultivation of Dittany Of Crete:

Shady rocks in dry places in high mountains.

Known hazards of Origanum dictamnus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.