Cosa coltiviamo - Biodiversità



Thyme (Thymus) is a genus of plants from the Lamiaceae family. The name (Thymus) derives from an ancient Greek name, “thýmon”, whose meaning is strength, courage, qualities that would awaken in those who smell its balsamic perfume, and was first used by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and botanist ancient, disciple of Aristotle, author of two extensive botanical treatises in which it is told of this fragrant plant and used as incense in sacrifices. Other etymologies derive the name of the genus from a Greek word for “perfume”. The scientific name of the species was defined by Linnaeus, also known as Carl von Linné, Swedish biologist and writer considered the father of the modern scientific classification of living organisms, in the publication “Species Plantarum” of 1753.


Thyme is an aromatic shrubby plant, which reaches 50 centimeters in height, perennial and woody. Inside these plants there are essential glands arranged alternately in a cross for dots on the leaves. The aerial part of the stem is generally woody, erect, with only a leafy apex (The flowers are found only on the erect lateral branches with a distichous insertion). The leaves, not very large, along the stem are arranged in such a way, with shape can be ovate or round, with a color ranging from more or less intense green, to gray, to silver and are covered with a thick. The bracts of the inflorescence, with a lanceolate shape, are similar to the leaves. The flowers are hermaphroditic, the calyx of the flower has bell-shaped or cylindrical shapes with five unequal acute teeth, with the surface covered by about ten longitudinal ribs and persistent to fruiting. The fruit has a smooth and glabrous surface.


Thyme has a characteristic taste, similar to that of oregano, therefore, it is mainly used as an aromatic herb in the preparation of salty dishes, such as baked potatoes, salads, meat, fish or summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, courgettes and peppers. In addition, it is rich in beneficial properties for health and can be used in the form of an infusion or essential oil. Thyme is useful not only for flavoring your dishes and making them tastier, but also for improving certain symptoms or health ailments. It improves heart rate and blood pressure and cholesterol. Contrasts cough, respiratory tract infections, cholesterol and acne. In addition, it is an excellent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.


Thyme grows naturally in arid or stony environments and does not require much care or particular conditions, therefore, it is very simple to cultivate. Sowing must be done in spring. When the plant is very young, it is necessary to water it often, while once it has reached a decent size, it can only be watered in case of drought. A very particular variety of thyme that can be grown in pots is that of lemon thyme, with a characteristic lemon aroma.