Thyme is a popular herb with many within the genus Thymus. Thyme is known for its flavour and can be used to flavour many foods such as soups and stews, especially meats. Thyme can be used magically to purify an area or person, when carried to inspire courage and for good health.
Thyme is known for its ability to grow in dry soils and poor nutritional conditions. Thymes are also known for their dislike of wet soils, which cause root rot, but disease can generally be avoided with thymes. Thymes are also generally drought tolerant and prefer a pH level that is neutral, tolerating slightly alkaline and acidic soils.
Thymus vulgaris, or as it known by its common names, English Thyme, French Thyme, Common Thyme and Garden Thyme, is an easy to obtain perennial plant compared to other thymes. It is a small evergreen shrub growing 20cm tall and 30cm wide. Its flowers are hermaphrodite in nature, being pollinated by bees and even flies. The leaves are half inch long with a linear to oval shape and a grey-green colour. Its stem square in cross-section and leaves in pairs which face opposite of each other.
It prefers sandy to loamy soils that is well drained.
Thymus serpyllum is also known as Breckland Thyme, Wild Thyme and Creeping Thyme. It flowers (coloured pink-purple, magenta or white) are highly scented and produced in clusters, being 4 to 6mm long. This specific thyme has many ranging smells, and a hardy plant. Woody in nature with creeping stems. It has oval leaves ranging from 3mm long to 8mm long.
It makes a good ground cover and can be used as a replacement to grass. Butterflies are attracted to this perennial that loves to be in the sun. Drought and poor soils are tolerated with sandy soils being what Thymus serpyllum grows within. Excellent drainage is what’s loved. It will grow to about 15cm tall and about 30cm wide.
Thymus herba-barona is known also as Caraway Thyme, a evergreen groundcover that creeps and spreads with runners. From late spring to early summer it produces pink flowers, attractive to bees. Described as a rampant grower, it certainly shouldn’t be grown where there is little space.
Thymus herba-barona can be used as a replacement to actual caraway. Its leaves are fragrant and can be used with bread. The leaves are 4 to 10mm long with a linear like shape and dark green in colour, with the added bonus of being hairy. It can grow up to 15cm tall and 30cm wide. It can grow well between stepping stones of paths and in either full sun or part shade.
Thymus pseudolanuginosus is known for it being hairy, hence its common name of Woolly Thyme. The hairs are white and it is known to grow in sunny to partial shade positions with either loamy, sandy and clay soils. A great choice to grow as a lawn, especially in low rain areas as this plant requires so little water.
The foliage is grey-green and flowers light pink.
It tends to grow up to 5cm tall, but can grow in width of nearing a metre, but typically 30 to 60cm in width.
While many thymes are drought tolerant, Thymus pseudolanuginosus is also frost tolerant.