/dit"n ee/, n., pl. dittanies.
1. a Cretan plant, Origanum dictamnus, of the mint family, having spikes of purple flowers and formerly believed to have medicinal qualities.
2. Also called stone mint. a North American plant, Cunila origanoides, of the mint family, bearing clusters of purplish flowers.
3. See gas plant.
[1350-1400; ME ditane, detany < OF dita(i)n < L dictamnus, dictamnum < Gk díktamnon, perh. akin to Díkte, a mountain in Crete where the herb abounded]

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▪ plant grouping
 any of several plants: European dittany (see gas plant), Maryland dittany (Cunila origanoides), and Crete dittany (Origanum dictamnus). The last two mentioned are of the mint family (Lamiaceae), order Lamiales. C. origanoides, common in dry woodlands and prairies, was once used as a remedy for fever and snakebite. It attains heights of 30 cm (1 foot) and has mint-scented leaves and clusters of rose-purple to white, tubular flowers. It and 14 other species of Cunila are native in North and South America.

      Origanum dictamnus, related to marjoram, has white, woolly, weak stems, thick leaves, and pinkish flower clusters. It is native in Greece and is much-used in cookery.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Dittany — can refer to three different plants, the first two with similar medical properties, the second two closely related: Dictamnus albus (White Dittany, False Dittany) of the rue family (Rutaceae) Origanum dictamnus (Dittany of Crete, Cretan Dittany)… …   Wikipedia

  • Dittany — Dit ta*ny, n. [OE. dytane, detane, dytan, OF. ditain, F. dictame, L. dictamnum, fr. Gr. di ktamnon, di ktamnos, a plant growing in abundance on Mount Dicte in Crete. Cf. {Dittander}.] (Bot.) (a) A plant of the Mint family ({Origanum Dictamnus}),… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dittany — [dit′ n ē] n. pl. dittanies [ME ditane < OFr ditan < L dictamnum < Gr diktamnon, ? after Diktē, Mount Dicte, in Crete, where it grew] 1. a creeping, woolly herb (Origanum dictamnus) of the mint family, native to Crete 2. GAS PLANT ☆ 3. a …   English World dictionary

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  • dittany — noun /ˈdɪtəni/ A labiate plant, Origanum dictamnus, formerly renowned for its medicinal properties; dittany of Crete …   Wiktionary

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  • dittany of crete — noun dwarf aromatic shrub of Crete • Syn: ↑cretan dittany, ↑crete dittany, ↑hop marjoram, ↑winter sweet, ↑Origanum dictamnus • Hypernyms: ↑origanum • Member Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • dittany — noun (plural nies) Etymology: Middle English ditoyne, detony from Anglo French ditayne, from Latin dictamnum, from Greek diktamnon Date: 12th century 1. a pink flowered mint (Origanum dictamnus) that is native to Crete 2. a North American mint… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dittany — n. (Botany) perennial herb with white flowers that discharge flammable vapor in hot weather; stone mint …   English contemporary dictionary

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