Tuesday 21 May
Dittany of Crete (Origanum dictamnus)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Dittany of Crete fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Dittany of Crete description
The dittany of Crete is widely used for food flavouring and medicinal purposes, in addition to it featuring as an ornamental plant in gardens (3). This small, lanate shrub is easily recognised by the distinctive soft, woolly covering of white-grey hair on its stems and round green leaves (4) (5), giving it a velvety texture (6). Tiny rose-pink flowers surrounded by brighter purple-pink bracts add an exuberant splash of colour to the plant in summer and autumn (7) (8).
- Also known as
- Cretan dittany.
- Height: up to 30 cm (2)
- Modified leaf at the base of a flower.
- A plant that sheds its leaves at the end of the growing season.
- Woolly covering of short dense hair.
- Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
- Walter, K.S. and Gillett, H.J. (1998) 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. IUCN (The World Conservation Union), Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
Desert-Tropicals.com (April, 2006)
Permaculture Information web (April, 2006)
Crimson sage Nursery: Medicinal Herb Plants Nursery (April, 2006)
- Tutin, T.G., Heywood, V.H., Burges, N.A. and Valentine, D.H. (1972) Flora Europaea: Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae v. 3. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Purdue University: Centre for New Crops and Plant Products (April, 2006)
Mostly Natives Nursery (April, 2006)
Epic Plants (April, 2006)
Plants for a Future: Edible, medicinal and useful plants for a healthier world (April, 2006)
- Heywood, V.H. (1978) Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Greece: Country Report to the FAO International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources (April, 2006)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Dittany of Crete biology
This deciduous (3), perennial plant blooms from June to August and sheds its leaves in winter (9). The flowers have both male and female reproductive organs and are pollinated by bees (9), which are attracted to the flowers by their bright colour and the plant’s aromatic fragrance (10).Top
Dittany of Crete range
Native to the mountains of Crete, Greece (6).Top
Dittany of Crete habitat
Shady rocks in dry places in high mountains (3).Top
Dittany of Crete status
Classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plant Species 1997 (1).Top
Dittany of Crete threats
The dittany of Crete is frequently used for food flavouring, medicinal purposes and decoration (3). Although widely cultivated for these purposes, this plant is also taken from the wild. The exact extent of harvesting from the wild is unknown, but the species is thought to be threatened from over exploitation (11).Top
Dittany of Crete conservation
There are currently no conservation measures targeting this species.Top
Find out more
For more information on the dittany of Crete see:
Purdue University: Centre for New Crops and Plant Products:
Tutin, T.G., Heywood, V.H., Burges, N.A. & Valentine, D.H. (1972) Flora Europaea: Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae v. 3. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Top
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.