One species alone is known with variations and
is native to the region from South Europe to North
The old garden favourite D. albus, once known
as D. fraxinella, had glossy, leathery foliage
with three-feet stems, bearing terminal racemes
of fragrant flowers, somewhat like the Peruvian
Lily (q.v.) in form, but rather smaller, and white
Its var. purpureus has larger flowers suffused
purple; var. ruber has rosy purple flowers with
deeper coloured veins; and var. caucasicus has
flowers double the size of the type.
The whole plant has the strong aroma of lemon
and on a sultry evening will ignite if a lighted
match is held beneath the flowers. A good strong
loam is best for these plants, and a position
in full sun where it will become one of the most
permanent of perennials, having been known to
outlive several generations.
Propagate by seed immediately when ripe, its powers
of germination waning very rapidly if stored for
The flowering season is in early summer.
See Also: Dictamnus