Versatile and beautiful, thymes should have a place in every herb garden. All thymes (Thymus spp. Labiatae) are perennial herbs with very small leaves and tiny flowers ranging in color from white through pink to deep rose-magenta. The creeping thyme types, such as mother-of-thyme (Thymus serpyllum), will cover bricks and stones or low walls and can tolerate a certain amount of foot traffic. T. ‘Coccineus’ is a mat-forming cultivar with showy reddish purple flowers and bronze fall foliage. The bush forms are 6 to 8 inches high and have woody, wiry stems and branches.
Common thyme (T. vulgaris) is the type of thyme most frequently used for cooking. Most thymes are very fragrant, with aromas reminiscent of coconut, orange, balsam, oregano, lime, or nutmeg. Golden lemon thyme (T. * citriodorus ‘Aureus’) has yellow-edged leaves and a strong lemon odor. Zones 4 or 5–9, depending on the species and cultivar.
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