Thymus vulgaris (common thyme, German thyme, garden thyme or just thyme) is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. Growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) wide, it is a bushy, woody-based evergreen subshrub with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers in early summer.
It is useful in the garden as groundcover, where it can be short-lived, but is easily propagated from cuttings. It is also the main source of thyme as an ingredient in cooking and as an herbal medicine. It is slightly spicier than oregano and sweeter than sage.
The Latin specific epithet vulgaris means “common” in the sense of “widespread”.
From Middle English tyme, from Old French thym, from Latin thymum, from Ancient Greek θύμον (thúmon).
- IPA(key): /taɪm/
- Rhymes: -aɪm
- Homophone: time
thyme (countable and uncountable, plural thymes)
- Any plant of the labiate genus Thymus, such as the garden thyme, Thymus vulgaris, a warm, pungent aromatic, that is much used to give a relish to seasoning and soups.
- In older Irish and British poems and songs