Thyme

Wooly Thyme seems to like abuse


"From humble violet--modest thyme --
Exhaled, the essential odours climb,
As if no space below the sky
Their subtle flight could satisfy."

-William Wordsworth
(1770-1850)

   

The wooly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) is an extremely low-growing evergreen creeping shrub. I planted a bit by the rainbarrel which died because it did not like the damp loam, but the same plant which I put in the harshest situation alongside the carport thrived & spread. A corner of a "ditch" full of thyme is shown here with pale purple June flowers which will persist through much of summer.

The medium it is in is a tiny bit of dry dirt on top of masoned brick, a paved depression about as wide as one brick & six feet long. So it has hardly any soil, hardly any water, & its just as happy as can be. Dryness & lots of sun suits it. It is only supposed to be a half-inch to three inches tall, but this has humped up to six inches. It essentially filled it's brickbottomed ditch & has spread a foot out over the concrete carport.

It also stands up to a little light treading. It is commonly said that when bruised by foot traffic it releases a pleasant spicy odor, but in reality wooly thyme is the least pungeant of the thymes, for which reason it is not used for cooking (for a culinary thyme, see the Silver Thyme Page). If you pluck a bit of it, crush the hell out of it between the palms of your hand, then wrap your hands around your nose, it will have a nice little Allspice odor. But the claim that it has a nice smell for everyone just from light foot traffic seems to be a widespread popular delusion.

   



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