Thymus vulgaris (common thyme, German thyme, garden thyme 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 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) 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.
It is useful in the garden as groundcover, where it can be short-lived, but is easily propagated from cuttings. 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.
Numerous cultivars and hybrids have been developed for ornamental purposes. Nomenclature can be very confusing.
French, German and English varieties vary by leaf shape and colour and essential oils.
The many cultivars include ‘Argenteus’ (silver thyme).
- “Bonnie Plants Thyme”. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- “Thymus vulgaris“. Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 184533731X.
- Totally Thyme
- Herbs 2000: Thymus vulgaris
- Thymus argenteus
- “RHS Plant Selector – Thymus ‘Silver Queen‘“. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- “AGM Plants – Ornamental” (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 102. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
- L. H. Bailey; Manual of Cultivated Plants.
- M. Easter; International Thymus Register and Checklist.