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Thymus vulgaris

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Flowering thyme

Thymus vulgaris (common thyme, German thyme,<ref name=BonniePlantsThyme>Template:Cite web</ref> garden thyme<ref>Template:PLANTS</ref> or just thyme) is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. Growing to Template:Convert tall by Template:Convert wide, it is a bushy, woody-based evergreen subshrub with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers in early summer.<ref name=RHSAZ>Template:Cite book</ref>

It is useful in the garden as groundcover, where it can be short-lived, but is easily propagated from cuttings.<ref name=RHSAZ /> It is also the main source of thyme as an ingredient in cooking and as an herbal medicine. It is slightly spicier than oregano and sweeter than sage.

A shoot of a common thyme plant in the wild (Castelltallat)

Cultivars

Numerous cultivars and hybrids have been developed for ornamental purposes. Nomenclature can be very confusing.<ref>Totally Thyme</ref> French, German and English varieties vary by leaf shape and colour and essential oils.<ref>Herbs 2000: Thymus vulgaris</ref> The many cultivars include 'Argenteus' (silver thyme).<ref>Thymus argenteus</ref>

The cultivar 'Silver Queen', with white-margined leaves, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

See also

  • Thyme (discussion of culinary and medicinal uses)
  • Thymol, a disinfectant extract of essential oils

References

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Bibliography

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  • L. H. Bailey; Manual of Cultivated Plants.
  • M. Easter; International Thymus Register and Checklist.

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