Origanum dictamnus

Origanum dictamnus (origan de Crête) Photo / Source Zubro

Origanum dictamnus (Dittany of Crete or Hop Marjoram), known in Greek as "Δίκταμο" or in Cretan dialect "Έρωντας" (love), is a tender perennial plant that grows 20-30 cm high.

It is indigenous to Crete, Greece, where it symbolizes birth and love. Its local name in Crete ("love") is due to the fact that it likes to grow in very steep slopes on the rocky mountains of Crete. The young men used to show their courage and their love to their beloved ones by risking their lives picking it up and offering it to them.

It was used in medicine in Ancient Greece for its pharmaceutical properties on stomach aches and complaints of the digestive system. It is thought that wild beasts used to eat it to help them heal themselves when injured by hunters.

In the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, dittany is mentioned as a substance which, when used magically, can prevent scarring if applied quickly enough after a cutting injury.

Origanum dictamnus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae


Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Origanum
Species: O. dictamnus

Binomial name

Origanum dictamnus


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