Creeping Thyme

4 Mar

Creeping Thyme (Thymus), 2 to 6 inches, small scale ground cover for sunny areas, flowers pink, lavender to white, tolerates light foot traffic, good between stepping stones, fragrant.

Creeping Thyme includes various diminutive  Mediterranean members of the mint family with tiny, usually heavily scented leaves and masses of little flowers in whorls. Well suited to herb garden, rock garden; prostrate, mat-forming types make good small-space ground covers. Attractive to bees.

Thymus camphoratus

To 1 1/2 ft. high and wide, with narrow gray-green leaves that smell like camphor. Blooms in late spring, early summer; flower clusters consist of woolly, rosy purplish bracts and tiny white flowers.

 

Thymus herba-barona

Fast growing to 2–4 in. high, 2 ft. or more wide; stems root as they spread. Forms a dense mat of wiry stems set with widely spaced ovate to lanceshaped, dark green leaves with caraway fragrance. Clusters of rose pink flowers in midsummer.

 

Thymus praecox arcticus

Variable species to 3 in. high, 3 ft. wide, with roundish dark green leaves and purplish summer flowers. Good for small areas or as filler between stepping-stones where foot traffic is light. Soft and fragrant underfoot. Leaves can be used in seasoning and in potpourris. Often incorrectly sold as T. serpyllum.

 

Thymus pseudolanuginosus

Sometimes sold as T. praecox arcticus ‘Pseudolanuginosus‘. Forms a flat to undulating mat 2-3 in. high, 3 ft. wide. Stems are densely clothed with elliptical, woolly gray leaves. Blooms seldom and sparsely; when it does, produces pinkish flowers in leaf joints in midsummer. Becomes slightly rangy in winter. Use in rock crevices, between stepping-stones, spilling over bank or raised bed, covering small patches of ground.

 

Thymus vulgaris

Variable plant to 1 ft. high, 2 ft. wide,with gray-green, narrow to oval leaves. White to lilac flowers in late spring, early summer. Low edging for flower, vegetable, or herb garden. Good container plant. Use leaves fresh or dried for seasoning fish, shellfish, poultry stuffing, soups, vegetables.

 

 Thymus x citriodorus

Variable hybrid with erect or spreading growth to 1 ft. high, 2 ft.wide. Ovate to lance-shaped, medium green leaves with lemon fragrance. Pale lilac flowers in summer. Some varieties have varigated leaves.

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