Ballota pseudodictamnus

False dittany

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub

Flower colour






Skill level


photo by Jo Whitworth, copyright GAP Photos (219163)

Plant details

Ballota is a small genus which includes a few dwarf shrubs or subshrubs, almost border perennials in appearance and originating mainly in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. This species is a neat and attractive foliage plant, evergreen except in cold exposed positions, and a fine choice for hot sunny sites where it forms tidy mounds of ground-cover foliage. The whole plant is woolly, a beautiful greyish white on its younger growth, which is usually encouraged by firm annual pruning. Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in summer. A hardy shrub, ballota can grow in most soils that are free-draining, but prefers a sunny site, and will tolerate drought. On damp cold sites, mulch with bark over winter. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Ballota

Species: pseudodictamnus

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Grey

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 50cm

Spread: 60cm

Time to take cuttings: April to July

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