Sunday, May 1, 2011

Can You Ever Have Too Much Thyme?

I was recently at the Colonial Farmers Market and ran across some Golden Lime Thyme (say it out-loud, its kind of fun). How could I resist, it smelled amazing and I had never seen it before! So I am now growing "Lime Thyme" (Thymus x. citriodorus sp) in my garden!

Golden Lime Thyme
This got me wondering about Thyme, a very commonly used herb. How many different types are there? How many are used for culinary purposes? I thought I'd share a few little interesting facts that I found

There are over 350 species of thyme....who knew? Increasing this number are the various hybrids as well. Thyme as obvious culinary uses, but it is also used for medicinal purposes and even edible landscaping as ground cover or shrubs. When looking for culinary thyme there are two families to focus on for the best flavor

T. vulgaris:  Common Thyme
              * Grows to about 12-18" tall,  can be used as a shrub
              * Common Thyme will have gnarled woody stems
              * Dark Green or Grey-Green Leaves
    A few plants in this category are:
              * English Thyme
              * English Wedgwood Thyme
              * French Thyme

English Thyme at the Nursery 
T. x citriodours:  Lemon Thyme
               * Grows 10-12" tall 
               * Bright Green Lemon scented leaves 

Cutting of Lime Thyme 

Make sure to plant any thyme in freely draining soil and full sun. They are often hardy and can over winter as long as temperatures don't drop below 14F. They should also be protected from high chilly winds. 

So the best part of growing any new herb is using it in the kitchen.... I am thinking I am going to try and make a citrus chicken marinate or citrus lime vinaigrette.... so stayed tuned for a recipe or two (hopefully)

Do you have a favorite type of Thyme? How many different types do you grow?? 



  1. Oooo! I am a thyme lover myself and 4 different kinds growing around stepping stones in my garden. Lime and Golden Lemon are my favorites. Each variety has a totally different smell and taste. Some are not even for eating like Wooly thyme, but what a great smell and makes a beautiful edging and great for spilling over in pots.

  2. Ooh I've never heard of Wooly thyme, sounds fun! I love the smell of Thyme~