This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Calyx 5-partite, deciduous, the lower segments longest. Petals 5, the four upper ones ascending, the lower one distant, turned downwards. Disk annular, fleshy. Stamens 10, free, declinate. Fruit consisting of five confluent rostrate 2- or 3-seeded carpels, dehiscing in two valves. One species, widely dispersed in the north temperate zone in the Old World. This is a very variable plant, and has been divided into several species by some authors. A classical name.
1. D. albus (fig. 62). Fraxinella or Dittany. - An erect suffrutescent herb about 2 feet high. Leaves alternate, unequally pinnate, exhaling a powerful odour when rubbed. This is a handsome plant and a very old inhabitant of cottage gardens. There are rose, bright red and white varieties. Native of Central and Southern Europe, flowering in early Spring.
Fig. 62. Dictamnus albus. (1/6 nat. size.)