DESCRIPTION: English thyme is a low-growing plant with fragrant leaves. This herb goes well with just about everything. Add it (fresh or dried) to blended herb mixtures, or use in soups, sauces,...
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DESCRIPTION: English thyme is a low-growing plant with fragrant leaves. This herb goes well with just about everything. Add it (fresh or dried) to blended herb mixtures, or use in soups, sauces, beans, meat dishes, and more. It's also a great addition to potpourri or homemade soap.

BOTANICAL NAME: Thymus vulgaris

OTHER NAMES: Common Thyme  
AVERAGE MATURE HEIGHT: 15-20 cm
AVERAGE MATURE SPREAD: 30-50 cm
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun
FLOWER COLOUR: Lilac
FLOWERING TIME: Summer
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Green
COLD HARDINESS: Zone 3
WATER NEEDS: Average - Requires well drained soil
OTHER FEATURES: Edible, Fragrant

Edible Qualities

Common Thyme is a perennial herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The tiny fragrant round grayish green leaves can be harvested at any time in the season. The leaves have a savory taste and a pleasant fragrance.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Drying
  • Seasoning

Features & Attributes

Common Thyme is smothered in stunning clusters of pink flowers at the ends of the stems from early to mid summer. Its attractive tiny fragrant round leaves remain grayish green in colour throughout the year.

This is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial herb with a spreading, ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration:

  • Spreading

Common Thyme is suitable for the following landscape applications:

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Herb Gardens

Planting & Growing

Common Thyme will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity extending to 8 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate.

This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to dry locations, and dislikes excessive moisture. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. 

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