Growing Guide
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Gas Plant

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Also known as Dittany, Fraxinella, Burning Bush
Dictamnus albus
Rutaceae Family

While slow to get established, this perennial classic is long-lived and low maintenance. Grows about 3 feet tall and features shiny, aromatic leaves and erect spikes of scented white flowers. (Caution: Flowers and foliage cause skin rash in some individuals.)

Site Characteristics
  • full sun
Tolerates part shade.

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
Prefers slightly alkaline soil. Prefers consistent moisture but can tolarate some drought once well-established.

Hardiness zones:

  • 3 to 8
Prefers areas that have cool nighttime temperatures.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: perennial

Ease-of-care: moderately difficult

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Most varieties grow to 3 feet, but take several years to get established.

Spread: 2 to 3 feet

Bloom time:

  • late spring
  • early summer

Bloom time is brief (about 2 weeks), but flowers are followed by attractive star-shaped seedheads.

Flower color:

  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Most have star-like white flowers borne on erect, thick stems. 'Purpureus' has mauve purple flowers. 'Rubra' has rosy pink flowers

Foliage color: dark green

Compound leaves are shiny.

Foliage texture: medium

Shape: upright

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to Europe, Asia
  • fragrant - Foliage, flowers, and seeds are all strongly fragrant. The seeds have a citrus scent.
  • bears ornamental fruit - Short-lived flowers give way to attractive, star-like seedpods.
Special uses:
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Start seeds outdoors where desired or in containers in the fall. Seeds will begin germinating in spring and continue to emerge for another year.

Woody rootstock resists division. Attempts to divide may injure existing plant.

Maintenance and care:
Caution: Flowers and foliage can cause skin rash.

Slow to establish and dislikes disturbance. Also slow to emerge in spring so mark its location by leaving plant intact overwinter.

Do not deadhead as star-shaped seedheads are add interest. Does not need staking.

More growing information: How to Grow Perennials

'Purpureus' has mauve purple flowers.

'Caucasicus' grows up to 4 feet tall.

'Rubra' has rosy pink flowers.