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Description for Dittany of Crete
It is a healing, therapeutic and aromatic plant that only grows wild on the mountainsides and gorges of the Greek island of Crete, Greece. The dittany of Crete is widely used for food flavouring and medicinal purposes, in addition to it featuring as an ornamental plant in gardens. This small, lanate shrub is easily recognised by the distinctive soft, woolly covering of white-grey hair on its stems and round green leaves, giving it a velvety texture. Tiny rose-pink flowers surrounded by brighter purple-pink bracts add an exuberant splash of colour to the plant in summer and autumn.
Planting and care
Dittany of Crete can be grown in USDA growing zones 7 to 11 in full sun exposure. The plant can be propagated by seed in the early spring or by division in spring or fall. Seed germination takes about two weeks in a greenhouse. Plant the herb outside in early summer in containers such as hanging baskets, rockeries, or even as a green roof.
Caring for Dittany of Crete
- You may also take basal cuttings in summer when the shoots are 8 inches above ground. Pot them into individual containers and place them in a cold frame or greenhouse until the root system has matured, then plant them outside. Dittany of Crete is not particular about its soil but does prefer dry, warm, well-drained soil that is slightly alkaline. Once the herb has established itself, it will need very little water.
Typical uses of Dittany of Crete
Special features: Herb gardens. Edging. Borders. Effective in window boxes, hanging baskets or containers.
Ornamental use: The plant is used for ornamental purpose.
Medicinal use: Herbs
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