Dictamnus albus

Burning bush

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


<i>Dictamnus</i> <i>albus</i>, Justin Lambert

Plant details

Also known as dittany or fraxinella (an alternative name was D. fraxinella albus), this is an ancient plant originally grown by the Romans. It takes a season or two to settle down after planting. On a still summer's day, the aromatic oils given off by the flowers can be ignited and burn with a bright blue flame. Although plants grow well in light shade, full sun and still air help produce the most impressive display and strongest fragrance.

This is the true burning bush, not to be confused with the annual bedding plant with the same common name, Kochia scoparia (now Bassia scoparia). The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Rutaceae

Genus: Dictamnus

Species: albus

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 60cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to divide plants: September to May

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