NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. - J.R.R. Tolkien

Scientific Name: or show all plants or perform combination search
Plant Family:

Cunila origanoides

Cunila origanoides (L.) Britton

american-dittany, common dittany, stone-mint, wild-oregano

Synonym(s): Cunila mariana, Mappia origanoides
Cunila origanoides (American-dittany)
image by Parkins, Grant Morrow
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: CUOR
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cunila origanoides
GENUS: Cunila
FAMILY: LAMIAC - Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO: A wiry-stemmed, sprawling perennial found on dry rocky slopes, shale barrens and other dry (often sloping) woodlands and barrens.
STEMS: Stems 4-angled, stiff verging on woody, branched, reddish-brown, and soft-hairy in the upper half but smooth below.
LEAVES: Leaves opposite, sessile or short-petiolate, oval to lance-shaped, ¾-1½ in. long, with sparingly toothed margins and dotted with tiny glands.
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS: Flowers in clusters of 3–9 in upper leaf axils, pink or lavender with purple spots, ¼ in. long, the corolla a hairy tube with 4 spreading lobes and 2 prominently protruding stamens and the calyx tubular as well.
FRUITS: Fruit 4 tiny, brown nutlets.
COMMENTS: Plant gives off a strong scent of oregano when bruised.
HEIGHT: 8-16 in.

DURATION: Perennial
HABIT: Herb, Subshrub

LEAF ARRANGEMENT: Opposite
LEAF COMPLEXITY: Simple
LEAF RETENTION:

FLORAL
SYMMETRY: Bilateral (Zygomorphic)
BLOOM TIME: Aug-Oct
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x

BLOOM COLOR: Lavender, pink
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x x x

FRUITING PERIOD: Oct-Dec.

DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Dry forests, Outcrops and glades, Woods margins
NATIVE RANGE: eastern United States

HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: American-dittany is a many-branched southeastern native perennial that produces plentiful small pink to lavender flowers in late summer. It has a dainty appearance, though it is a tough plant and quite easy to grow. It prefers sandy soils, although any well-drained soil is acceptable. Each plant spreads approximately 18 inches. Over time, this species may continue to spread over a larger area. This species is found in open woodlands of the piedmont and coastal plain regions of North Carolina. Its pleasantly aromatic leaves have long been used in making teas.

Cultural Notes:

SOIL MOISTURE: Well-drained
LIGHT EXPOSURE: Sun, Part Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 5
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 8
GERMINATION CODE:
WILDLIFE VALUE: Bee Friendly, Butterfly Friendly
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: CUOR
USDA Common Name: Common Dittany
Native Status: L48 (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, AR, DC, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Subshrub, Forb/herb

WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cunila origanoides
COMMON NAME: Stone-mint, American-dittany, Wild-oregano
SYNONYMY: [= C, F, G, K, Mo, Pa, RAB, Va, W, WV; = Mappia origanoides (Linnaeus) House - S]
PHENOLOGY: Aug-Oct; Oct-Dec.
HABITAT: Dry rocky slopes, shale barrens, other dry (usually sloping) woodlands and barrens.
COMMENTS: S. NY and PA west to MO, south to c. SC, n. GA, OK, and ne. TX (Singhurst & Holmes 2004).
RANGE MAP: Cunila origanoides.png

Key to Map Symbols.

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Lamiaceae Lindley 1836 or LABIATAE A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Mint Family)
SUMMARY: A family of about 230-250 genera and 6700-7170 species, herbs, shrubs, vines, and trees, cosmopolitan. The placement in the Lamiaceae of several genera traditionally placed in Verbenaceae (e.g. Clerodendrum) is strongly supported by several lines of evidence.
REFERENCE: Harley et al. in Kadereit (2004).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Cunila D. Royen ex Linnaeus 1759 (Stone-mint, American-dittany, Wild-oregano)
SUMMARY: A genus of 1 or 9 species, of e. North America (1 species) and (depending on circumscription) Mexico (8 species). Agostini, Echeverrigaray, & Souza-Chies (2012) and Drew & Sytsma (2012) show that the South American species previously included in Cunila definitely do not belong there, and that Cunila may best be treated as monophyletic, including only our species (the 8 Mexican species removed to a new genus).
REFERENCE: Agostini, Echeverrigaray, & Souza-Chies (2012); Drew & Sytsma (2012); Harley et al. in Kadereit (2004).
HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Cunila origanoides in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Cunila origanoides in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Cunila origanoides in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Cunila origanoides in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Cunila origanoides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cunila origanoides

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE1: 8281
ID IMAGE2: 0
ID IMAGE3: 8281
Include in WOTAS: 1
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2017-12-01

From the Image Gallery


Image ID: 8131

Image ID: 8132

Image ID: 8280

Image ID: 14521

Image ID: 10979
6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Go back