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"Creeping Thyme" and "Wild Thyme" redirect here. In some places, these names refer to Thymus praecox.
Thymus serpyllum
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Thymus
Species: T. serpyllum
Binomial name
Thymus serpyllum

Thymus serpyllum, known by the common names of Wild Thyme or Creeping Thyme is a species of thyme native to most of Europe and North Africa. It is a low, usually prostrate subshrub growing to 2 cm tall with creeping stems up to 10 cm long, with oval evergreen leaves 3-8 mm long. The strongly scented flowers are either lilac, pink-purple, magenta, or a rare white, all 4-6 mm long and produced in clusters. The hardy plant tolerates some pedestrian traffic and produces odors ranging from heavily herbal to lightly lemon, depending on the plant.

It is part of the Labiatae family, and is related to the mint and Dead Nettle plants.




Medicinal uses

It is a source of oil of Serpolet by distillation, and is used as an aphrodisiac in herbal medicine. It is also used against coughing.

Food uses

It is used as a seasoning for many meat dishes (being commonly used in beef stews), cabbage or green salads, and vegetable dishes containing zucchini and eggplant. The dried leaves are used for a herbal tea throughout Europe and the United States.

Nectar source

It is an important nectar source plant for honeybees as well as the large blue butterfly which feeds exclusively on wild thyme. All thyme species are nectar sources, but wild thyme covers large areas of droughty, rocky soils in southern Europe. Croatia,Macedonia,Greece, North Africa, Malta, the Berkshire Mountains and Catskill Mountains of the northeastern United States, and New Zealand are especially famous for wild thyme honey. See also: Monofloral honey a



External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Thymus serpyllum


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Genus: Thymus
Species: Thymus serpyllum
Varieties: T. s. var. vulgaris


Thymus serpyllum L.


  • Carolus Linnaeus: Species Plantarum 2: 590.  1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. 36628

Vernacular names

Deutsch: Wilder Thymian, Quendel
English: Wild thyme, Creeping thyme
Español: Serpol
Français: Serpolet
Hrvatski: Majčina dušica
Italiano: Serpillo
Русский: Тимьян ползучий, Чабрец
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Thymus serpyllum on Wikimedia Commons.


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