(Labiatae/Lamiaceae). Dittany, Origanum. Genus about 20 species of deciduous often rhizomatous, summer flowering sub-shrubs and herbaceous perennials, sometimes with overwintering leaf rosettes. From open habitats, often in mountainous areas of the Mediterranean and S.W.Asia. They have spreading to upright stems bearing simple, aromatic leaves in opposite pairs and inflorescences in spiked whorls which are sometimes panicle or corymb-like. Some are grown as culinary herbs, others for their clusters of tubular, usually pink, elongated flowers. These 2-lipped flowers are borne amid conspicuous often brightly coloured bracts, overlapping to make cones like a hop fruit from July. Arching, prostrate stems, used for trailing over rocks, banks and walls. Forms a dense creeping mat of scented foliage. Bees and butterflies love ornamental Origanum. Alkaline, moderately fertile soils in full sun best. Good for rockeries, ledges, borders, screes and herb gardens.