Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
Well-established in English gardens well before the mid-Sixteenth Century, common thyme is a versatile herb and only one of the approximately 350 species of genus Thymus. The exact origin most thymes is uncertain because these valued medicinal and culinary herbs have been moved by man for so long and tend to establish themselves where planted. Generally speaking, they exist in the drier climates of Europe and Asia.
Thyme plants are semi-woody perennials that are low-growing. Most are shrubby or mat-like. The most widely grown species have a creeping or prostrate in habit. Their tiny semi-evergreen to evergreen leaves have very fine hairs filled with highly aromatic oils. They are opposite, dark green to gray-green and appear along thin, wiry, square stems. In spring or summer the plants produce fragrant clusters of small pink, lavender or white flowers that draw many honeybees.
The most popular culinary species, Thymus vulgaris, has fine, linear, gray-green leaves that retain their outstanding fragrance throughout the year. Thymus citriodorus (Lemon thyme) has a low-growing bushy habit and its tiny evergreen leaves have a citrus scent when crushed.
Thymes thrive in poor to moderately fertile, perfectly drained soils that are neutral to alkaline. Full sun is required and most are drought tolerant once established. Thyme species tend to be very pest resistant. In fact, some are used to repel pests. Most beloved cultivated thymes are creeping, fragrant and lovely for rock gardens, herb beds or filler plants between stepping stones where their perfume is released with every step. They are also ideal for containers.
12 - 1
1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Rock Garden / Wall
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