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Thymus vulgaris L.

Family Name: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Synonyms: Origanum thymus, Thymus collinus
Common Name: Thyme, Garden Thyme, Common Thyme, English Thyme
Full Sun: 6-8h Little Water Herb & Spice Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
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Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 15 cm to 30 cm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 15 m to 30 m


Native Distribution Portugal to Greece
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Mediterranean
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial with creeping or erect stems up to 0.5 m tall.
Foliage Paired leaves are linear to elliptic with entire leaf margin (3-8 mm long, 0.5-2.5 mm wide). Leaf surface is tomentose, being densely matted with soft hairs.
Stems The base of the stem becomes woody over time.
Flowers Light purple flowers are tubular and 2-lipped. They are arranged in whorls along a spike inflorescence.
Fruits The fruit is composed of 4 one-seeded nutlets which are brown and round (1 mm wide).
Cultivation Seeds may take 14 – 21 days to germinate. Grow it in a sunny location and well-drained soil. Allow the soil between watering sessions to minimise root rot due to overwatering.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Herb and Spice : The leaves are used to flavour dishes with eggs, beans and tomatoes.)
Medicinal ( The essential oil was clinically shown to have anti-microbial activity, especially when extracted from flowering plants (Marino et al 1999).)

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Groundcover, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Linear)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Indehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Nut / Nutlet
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)

Image Repository



Master ID 31006
Species ID 5393
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.