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March 2011
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Thymus serpyllums – also known as Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme

Thymus serpyllum is a shrub, also known as Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme. This belongs to species of thyme and to family Lamiaceae and is a native of Europe and North Africa. This sub shrub can grow up to a height of 2 cm and hence a low sub shrub. The stems are creeping and can grow up to a length of 10cm. The evergreen leaves are oval in shape and in 3-8mm length. The flowers are strongly aromatic and are in lilac, pink-purple, magenta, or a rare white color and of 4–6 mm length. The flowers appear in clusters. The odors of this plant are heavily herbal to lightly lemon.
This plant is a source of Serpolet oil which is obtained by distillation. This oil is used as an aphrodisiac which is well known in herbal medicine. It also acts against coughing. This plant is used for seasoning and flavoring many meat dishes as in beef stews, cabbage and green salads, and vegetable dishes containing zucchini and eggplant. The dried leaves make an excellent herbal tea which is used and is famous throughout Europe and the United States.
This plant also makes an excellent source for nectar for bees and large blue butterflies which are known to feed on this thyme extensively. The Wild thyme honey is famous in places of Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, North Africa, Malta, the Berkshire Mountains and Catskill Mountains of the northeastern United States, and New Zealand.
Since it is creeping thyme, it is best for landscaping and for border plants, ground covers and stone paths. It can be replaced for a blue grass lawn as it is tolerant to low water and poor soils.

Growing conditions for Wild thyme

• Fill the potting soil in the garden.
• Spread creeping thyme seeds on the surface.
• Space them one inch apart.
• Cover the soil slightly on them by pressing.
• Water them such that the seedlings are not washed off.
• This plant needs full sun especially in early stages of growth.
• When it is hot, partial shade will do for the water.
• Do not overwater as the roots will rot.
• Thin out the seedlings 10 inches apart.
• The soil should be well drained type of soil.

Care for creeping thyme

• Space the plant right as it is creeping and so enough air supply should be there.
• The plants need full sun to partial shade.
• The soil should be well drained.
• Grow the plant in rock garden; mulching is not necessary in such sites.
• If not a rock garden then provide thin mulch around the plant.

Photos of the plant (link)

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