Ballota dictamnifolia St.-Lag.
Beringeria pseudodictamnus (L.) Neck.
Marrubium pallidum Salisb.
Marrubium pseudodictamnus L.
Moluccella fruticosa Forssk.
Photograph by: peganum
Ballota pseudodictamnus is an evergreen plant with erect, unbranched stems that become more or less woody at the base.
Often grown as an ornamental, where it is valued especially for its soft, grey foliage - it can be used as a ground cover. The calyces are sometimes used as floating wicks in oil lamps
Southeast Europe - Greece; W. Asia - Turkey; N. Africa - Libya, Egypt
Rocks and rough ground on alkaline soils[
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This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the temperate zone, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10Â°c[
Requires a very well-drained position in full sun[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
]. Tolerates poor soils[
]. Best grown in a hot dry position with some protection given from severe frosts[
]. Usually found on alkaline soils in the wild, it tolerates a pH down to 5 in cultivation[
Plants are best pruned back to the ground in spring before new growth commences[
Plants are generally untroubled by pests and diseases[
This species is closely related to Ballota acetabulosa[
A good ground cover plant for a sunny position. It is best to cut old growth back to the basal rosette in spring[
]. Plants form a slowly spreading clump[
The calyces are used as floating wicks in oil lamps. The calyx is placed on the surface of the oil and soon becomes saturated with oil. It is then lit.
Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring[
]. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
Cuttings of semi-ripe wood in the summer[