Thymus (Thyme) TY-muss
The genus, Thymus, is a member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family and has about 350 different species of perennial herbaceous plants and evergreen shrubs. The species has various sizes and growth habits. Thyme has been cultivated for centuries as an ornamental or for culinary use. They are native to Greenland, the temperate and subtropical areas of Euroasia and Northeast Tropical Africa.
Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is often used in cooking to flavor soups, stews, sauces and meats. Different species have a variety of flavors and fragrances that include caraway, lemon, nutmeg, orange and oregano. Some species, such as Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum), are used primarily as groundcovers. Other species, such as Wooly Thyme (Thymus praecox), may be used as lawn substitutes. The essential oils of the thyme leaves have been used to make perfumes, antiseptics, expectorants and deodorants.