dittany

[dit-n-ee]
noun, plural 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.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English ditane, detany < Old French dita(i)n < Latin dictamnus, dictamnum < Greek díktamnon, perhaps akin to Díktē, a mountain in Crete where the herb abounded

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World English Dictionary
dittany (ˈdɪtənɪ)
 
n , pl -nies
1.  an aromatic Cretan plant, Origanum dictamnus, with pink drooping flowers: formerly credited with great medicinal properties: family Lamiaceae (labiates)
2.  Also called: stone mint a North American labiate plant, Cunila origanoides, with clusters of purplish flowers
3.  another name for gas plant
 
[C14: from Old French ditan, from Latin dictamnus, from Greek diktamnon, perhaps from Diktē, mountain in Crete]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

dittany

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Dittany and yellow ironweed are reliable producers, but frost flowers grow on other plants, too.
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