Thursday, February 5, 2009

Creeping Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum)

Thymus serpyllum, known by the common names of Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme is a species of thyme native to most of Europe and North Africa. It is a low, usually prostrate subshrub growing to 2 cm tall with creeping stems up to 10 cm long, with oval evergreen leaves 3-8 mm long. The strongly scented flowers are pink-purple, all 4-6 mm long and produced in clusters. The hardy plant tolerates some pedestrian traffic and produces odors ranging from heavily herbal to lightly lemon, depending on the plant.

How to grow
sow the seed and cover with 1/8 inch of rich, slightly alkaline, well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist during germination. Spacing is 10 to 12 inches apart in rows about 18 to 24 inches apart. Temperature 66 to 70F, germinate within 3 to 6 days. USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 9

It is a source of oil of Serpolet by distillation, and is used as an aphrodisiac in herbal medicine. It is used as a seasoning for many meat dishes (being commonly used in beef stews), cabbage or green salads, and vegetable dishes containing zucchini and eggplant. The dried leaves are used for a herbal tea throughout Europe and the United States.

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