|Thymus subsp. var.||Thyme|
- For the popular culinary herb, refer to Thyme.
The genus Thymus (pronounced /ˈtaɪməs/), with the common English name thyme, contains about 350 species of aromatic perennial herbaceous plants and sub-shrubs to 40 cm tall, in the family Lamiaceae. Members are native to temperate regions in Europe, North Africa and Asia. The stems tend to be narrow or even wiry; the leaves are evergreen in most species, arranged in opposite pairs, oval, entire, and small, 4–20 mm long, and usually aromatic. The flowers are in dense terminal heads, with an uneven calyx, with the upper lip three-lobed, and the lower cleft; the corolla is tubular, 4–10 mm long, and white, pink or purple.
The botanic name and the English common name are both derived from an old Greek name for an uncertain aromatic herb.
There is some confusion over the naming and taxonomy of some species and Mrs Margaret Easter has compiled a list of synonyms for cultivated species and cultivars.
Several members of the genus are cultivated as culinary herbs or ornamentals, when they are also called thyme after its best known species, common thyme.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Thymus (the old Greek name used by Theophrastus either for this plant or for savory). Labiatae. Thyme. Small shrubs or subshrubs, mostly hardy, and excellent for edging and the rockery. Includes the popular culinary herb, Thyme
Leaves small, entire; floral lvs. similar or changing to bracts in the spike: floral whorls usually few-fld., sometimes all distant and axillary, sometimes gathered in terminal short or lax spikes; bractlets minute: calyx ovoid, 10-13-nerved, 2-lipped, 5-toothed; corolla-tube included or exserted, naked inside, limb somewhat 2-lipped; stamens 4, in pairs: nutlets ovoid or oblong, smooth.—About 120 species, broadly dispersed in temperate regions, although the greatest number are natives of the Medit. region.
Thymes are erect or prostrate plants with strong mint-like odor. Most of the species are grown as a ground-cover on banks, in borders, or rockwork. The creeping or prostrate habit, ability to persist in dry places and poor soils, and the colored or woolly foliage of some species make them adaptable to a variety of uses. The common T. Serpyllum is evergreen. T. vulgaris is the thyme of sweet-herb gardens, being prized in cookery. All thymes are easily propagated by means of division, although seedlings may sometimes be used to renew plantations of some of the species, particularly of T. vulgaris. Several names occur in American catalogues, all of which seem to be referable to three species, one of which is not a true Thymus. See Sage, where general culture of such herbs is given.
T. corsicus, Pers.-Satureia corsica.—T. erectus, Hort., is offered in the trade as a small shrubby evergreen about 9-12 in. high, with a rigid habit and clusters of rose or pale pink fls.—T. ericaefolius, Roth – Micromeria varia, Benth. Subshrub, procumbent, pubescent or villous: lvs. sessile, lower ovate, upper lanceolate, somewhat canescent beneath: fls. minute, sessile in a sessile or peduncled fascicle; calyx usually purplish. Canary Isls. CH
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About 350 species, includingwp:
Thymus x citriodorus
Thymus Coccineus Group
Thymus herba-barona (Caraway thyme)
Thymus pseudolanuginosus (woolly thyme)
Thymus vulgaris (common thyme)
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Thymus. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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