Thymus pulegioides (Lemon Thyme, Broad-leaved Thyme, Pennyroyal, Creeping) is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Europe and is highly valued for its lemon-scented foliage, attractive flowers, and its ability to form a dense, creeping ground cover. Lemon Thyme is often used in herb gardens, rock gardens, or as a fragrant addition to culinary dishes.
Lemon Thyme is a small, mat-forming herbaceous perennial that typically grows to a height of about 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) with a spread of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm). It has small, oval leaves that are gray-green in color and highly aromatic, with a strong lemon fragrance when crushed. The stems are woody and form a dense, low-growing mat.
This species thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Lemon Thyme is adaptable to various soil types, including sandy or rocky soils. It is known for its ability to tolerate drought and poor soil conditions, making it suitable for herb gardens, rock gardens, or areas with low water availability.
The flowers of Lemon Thyme are attractive and add to its overall appeal. They are small, tubular in shape, and come in shades of pink or lavender. The flowers are produced in clusters at the ends of the stems and attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
Thymus pulegioides typically blooms from late spring to early summer, although the exact bloom time may vary depending on the specific cultivar. The flowers provide a splash of color and contrast with the aromatic foliage.
Lemon Thyme is highly valued for its lemon-scented foliage, which adds a delightful aroma and flavor to various culinary dishes. The leaves can be harvested and used fresh or dried. They are often used to season meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, and soups, adding a citrusy twist to the flavors.
Lemon Thyme, with its lemon-scented foliage, attractive flowers, and creeping habit, is a versatile and useful herb for both ornamental and culinary purposes. Its adaptability, low-maintenance nature, and pleasant fragrance make it an excellent choice for herb gardens, rock gardens, or as a fragrant addition to various dishes.
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Scientific Name: Thymus pulegioides
Common Name: Lemon Thyme, Broad-leaved Thyme, Pennyroyal
Plant Type: Perennials
Native Range: Northern Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia
Full Growth Height: 2-10"
Width in Across: 6-10 "
Exposure: Full Sun
Blooming Season: July, August
Flower: Showy, Bell, Tubular
Pollinators: Bees, Other Pollinators
Flower Color: Purple
Tolerate: Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Rabbit, Poor Soil, Salt
Water Requirement: Dry, Medium
Soil Type: Sand, Loam, Well-Drained
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral
Uses: Rock Garden, Pollinator Garden, Cottage Garden, Banks and Slopes