All About Thyme: What Does Thyme Look Like?

Thyme is a plant known for its flavor and aroma. It has been used by healers for thousands of years and is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. Thyme is native to Afghanistan and the Middle East, as well as France and Tunisia. Thyme is a popular herb used to season various recipes such as soups, stews, sauces, meat, fish, vegetables, and bread. It can even be used to flavor hot beverages.

What is Thyme?

Thyme is a plant in the family Lamiaceae, which includes mint. It is a perennial plant that grows well in Mediterranean climates and has been used to flavor food since ancient times.

The genus name Thymus comes from thymos, meaning “marjoram.” The word marjoram comes from Arabic al marjūrān (المرجورّان), which means “the joyous herb.”

Thyme is a plant that has been used to make food, medicine, and perfume for hundreds of years. It is also called European savory and wild marjoram. Thyme can be used either fresh or dried. It has a sharp, pungent taste that gives soups, stews, and salads more depth.

Often, Thyme is added to meat dishes like stews and chicken roasts. The herb also goes well with Brussels sprouts and green beans. You can put it on salads or use it to make your dressing.

Thyme is good for your health because it can help digestion and reduce inflammation. Thyme also has antioxidant properties that protect against damage from free radicals and help keep the heart-healthy.

History of Thyme

Thyme has a long and interesting history that began in the Mediterranean. Thyme has been grown since ancient times, and ancient Greeks used it a lot in their cooking. It was used as a spice and as a herb to treat illnesses.

Thyme was used to flavor meat and fish dishes in ancient Greece, and it was also used as a medicine. They thought that Thyme could heal colds and sore throats, so they put Thyme on hot stones and put them under their pillows at night. Thyme was also considered an aphrodisiac for women who wanted to have children. A woman who wanted to get pregnant would boil some thyme leaves in water and drink it before bed to help her get pregnant. Some cultures still believe this today.

Thyme has been a spice and a medicine for a long time. In ancient Rome, people ate Thyme and used it to treat wounds. Roman soldiers would carry dried Thyme into battle as an antibiotic dressing for wounds they got in battle. Thyme was also used to preserve the bodies of mummies in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians thought that using Thyme would help the bodies last longer.

Some Well Known Thyme

There are many different species of Thyme, but the most common ones are:

English/Garden Thyme

English/Garden Thyme

Thymus vulgaris, which is also known as Common Thyme and garden thyme. This herb has small leaves and a small pinkish-purple flower. It tastes like citrus, with a hint of anise or mint. It’s often used in soups and stews, sauces, and stuffings.

Silver Thyme

Silver Thyme

Thymus vulgaris ‘Argenteus’ is also known as Silver Thyme or Silver King thyme. This variety has gray-green leaves and produces white flowers with a purple center on each stem. Its flavor is similar to its common cousin—citrusy with an undertone of mint or anise—but it’s milder than common Thyme. It’s great in pasta, casseroles, soups, stews, and sauces (especially tomato-based ones).

Narrow Leaf French Thyme

Thymus serpyllum ‘Narrow Leaf French’ or ‘Tarragon Thyme.’ This variety has dark green leaves that grow up to 8 inches long by 4 inches wide at maturity; it produces white flowers with yellow centers on top of each stem. Its flavor is similar to tarragon but less spicy.

Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) is the most common species of Thyme in North America. It grows low to the ground, with small blue-green leaves and tiny white flowers.

Wild Creeping Thyme

Wild Creeping Thyme

Wild creeping Thyme (Thymus zygis) is rare. Its leaves are larger than creeping Thyme, and its flowers are pinkish-purple.

Lemon Thyme

Lemon is close to regular Thyme, with its tiny leaves and small, white flowers. It’s a bit more delicate than regular Thyme, though, and it has a very lemony scent you’ll notice when cooking. It’s also a bit more expensive than regular Thyme—if you’re looking to save some money, this might not be the best choice. If you’re looking for something that will punch up your dish and give it some brightness and flavor, though? Lemon thyme is exactly what you want!

Orange Thyme

Orange Thyme

Orange Thyme is another herb that’s closely related to regular Thyme. It has smaller leaves than regular Thyme, and its scent is similar, but with an added citrusy note that makes it perfect for adding depth and complexity to any dish. You can use this herb in almost any recipe where you want something subtle but flavorful—it’s ideal in marinades! Just remember: orange Thyme is much stronger than lemon thyme, so use sparingly if unsure how much flavor your dish needs.

Woolly Thyme

Woolly Thyme

Thymus pseudolanuginosus is a species of Thyme native to the Mediterranean region. It is a short-lived perennial that grows to about six inches tall with hairy stems and leaves. The flowers are white, pink, or purple and appear in clusters at the ends of branches.

The flavor of woolly Thyme is similar to other types of Thyme, though it tends to be more aromatic than some varieties. It has been used for centuries as a culinary herb and has medicinal properties.

Caraway Thyme

Thymus herba-barona is a thyme species native to the Mediterranean region. It has small, grayish violet flowers and tiny, oval leaves that are green on top and white on the underside. The plant grows in rocky areas that are exposed to full sun. This Thyme thrives in hot climates but can also be grown indoors with proper care.

Uses of Thyme

Thyme is an herb with a variety of uses. You can use it in your cooking, or you can also use it for medicinal purposes. It’s an excellent source of iron and calcium, so it’s a great addition to any diet.

1. In Cooking

  • Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs around. You can use it in everything from soups and stews to salads and side dishes, as well as in desserts.
  • Thyme is often added to bread, muffins, and other baked goods for its rich flavor. It’s also great for adding a punch of flavor to soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and more.
  • In salads, Thyme is an excellent addition if you’re looking for something with a little kick—it pairs well with green leafy vegetables like spinach or arugula and fruit like apples or pears.
  • You can also use Thyme in marinades for meats like chicken or lamb; it pairs especially well with fish like salmon or trout. If you’re looking for something different than your typical steak marinade, try adding some chopped thyme to lemon juice or olive oil with salt and pepper! This works especially well on fish because it won’t overpower the delicate flavors of seafood like tuna or swordfish.”
  • Thyme is commonly used as an ingredient in chicken dishes, including chicken pot pie and roasted chicken with Thyme. If you are making one of these recipes, add some fresh thyme sprigs during the cooking process for maximum flavor!

2. Thyme Tea

Thyme Tea

If you want to use Thyme as a tea, add 1 tablespoon of dried thyme leaves to 8 ounces of boiling water. Let steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.

3. Thyme Powder

To turn Thyme into powder, grind the leaves in a blender or food processor until they’re excellent. You can then use the powder in any recipe that calls for dried herbs—it will add flavor without worrying about the texture of whole leaves getting in the way!

4. As an Antiseptic

You can use Thyme as an antiseptic for cuts and scrapes by applying the oil directly to your skin or soaking a cotton ball in the oil before applying it to your skin. This will help prevent infections from occurring due to open wounds or cuts!

5. To Kill Bacteria

Thyme has been shown to have antibacterial properties that can kill bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus, both of which can cause illness if they enter the body through open wounds or cuts on the skin.

6. As Cough Suppressant

Thyme is often used as a cough suppressant and expectorant and has also been used to relieve sore throats, colds, and congestion. Thyme may be applied topically to wounds to help reduce infection and speed healing.

7. As a Hair Treatment

Thyme has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for dandruff and other scalp problems. It can be used by mixing the essential oil with coconut oil and massaging it into your scalp at night before bedtime, then washing it out in the morning with shampoo (or whatever else you use).

8. As an Insect Repellent

Thyme has been shown to repel insects such as mosquitoes and ticks when applied topically—meaning you could use thyme essential oil around your ankles if you’re worried about bites while hiking or camping!

9. To Aid Digestion

The most common use of Thyme is to aid digestion. It has been used for thousands of years as a digestive tonic and can be taken in small doses to help prevent bloating, indigestion, and flatulence. Thyme tea is often recommended as a tonic after meals to aid digestion.

10. Aromatherapy

Thyme has a strong, earthy aroma that can be used to treat stress and anxiety. You can make a thyme-infused oil that can be applied directly to your skin or inhaled through aromatherapy.

11. Fertilizer

Thyme is also good for your garden! It can help keep away pests, but it’s also high in nitrogen, making it great for encouraging healthy growth in your plants.

What Does Thyme Look Like

What Does Thyme Look Like

Thyme is a perennial herb part of the mint family and looks like a small bush. The plant grows up to three feet tall, with tiny leaves that are dark green on top and grayish-white underneath. The flowers are white or pink, and they grow in clusters.

Thyme leaves are a bit like pine needles but with a more pointed edge. The edges of the leaves are usually a bit furry.

Thyme leaves are tiny and narrow and grow in bunches on the plant’s stems.

Instructions for Home-Grown Thyme

Grow Thyme at home

Thyme is a perennial herb that’s great for adding flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. You can grow Thyme in your garden with little effort and reap the benefits of its delicious smell and taste!

Choose a Sunny Location.

Thyme thrives in full sun and will not tolerate shade well. If there’s not enough sunlight in your yard, consider adding more shade-resistant plants such as perennials and shrubs that prefer partial shade.

Prepare the Soil

Thyme will grow well in nearly any type of soil, but it prefers soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8. If unsure of your soil’s pH, get a kit from your local gardening store or online retailer. The kit will allow you to test your soil’s pH level at home and recommend what steps to take next if necessary.

Planting Thyme Seeds

Plant thyme seeds directly into the ground after all danger of frost has passed in early spring or late fall (depending on where you live). Plant them about one-half inch deep and two inches apart from one another so that they have room to grow into full plants without crowding each other out.

Germinating and Sprouting

Plant them once the temperature has warmed up enough for them to germinate (usually around 60 degrees Fahrenheit). You’ll know when they’re ready because they’ll sprout within two weeks of planting—and if you’re lucky enough for them all to sprout at once, then pull out any weak ones so that only one plant grows per pot!

Remove Weeds

Remove weeds regularly and keep weeds away from young plants. You don’t need to dig up the soil or anything like that; pull them out of the ground!

Water Your Thyme Regularly

Thyme is a drought-tolerant plant that doesn’t need much water. However, it will perform best if you give it a little extra during the hot summer months.

Thyme should be watered once or twice weekly, depending on soil type and weather conditions. The best time to water is in the early morning or evening to avoid disturbing the roots of other plants growing nearby.

Fertilizing Your Thyme Plants

Fertilize your thyme plants twice yearly: once when they’re about half grew (mid-summer) and again just before the first frost (late fall). Use fertilizer made explicitly for herbs like fish emulsion or seaweed extract.


Prune back stems and leaves to encourage new growth and promote bushiness.

Harvesting Thyme

Harvesting Thyme

Harvesting thyme is a great way to keep your herb garden alive and thriving. You can harvest Thyme in the following 2 ways:

1. Keep the plant alive for the next harvesting by cutting off branches outside your plant, leaving the center intact. This will allow you to harvest more leaves from that plant.

2. Pull down the entire plant and cut off pieces as needed for cooking or other uses.

1. Keep the Plant Alive for the Next Harvesting

Harvesting thyme is as simple as it gets. You snip the stem, and you’re good to go!

The best thing about harvesting thyme is that you can do it anytime throughout the year. One of those herbs is always ready for you to use.

So, here are some tips on how to harvest Thyme:

  • Start by ensuring the plant is healthy and has at least five to six inches of growth since your last harvest. If it hasn’t grown in a while, give it some extra water and sun—that’ll get it going again!
  • Next, look for new leaves that turn purple-ish brownish hues. These tell you that they’re ready for harvesting!
  • Cut off the top 2-4 inches of stems with scissors or clippers (you can also use pruning shears if you want). You don’t need to worry about being too careful with this part because you can use fresh or dried Thyme in all recipes!

2. Pull Down the Entire Plant

Many people are unaware that the flavor comes from the leaves, so they pick out all of the stems and discard them. We’re come to notify you that you’ve made a terrible error!

All of the wonderful things may be found in the stems. They contain essential oils that give your herbs their taste and aroma, so if you don’t use them, your dish will severely lack flavor.

So, how do you go about getting these stems? Easy! Follow the steps below:

  • Remove all of your thyme plant’s leaves (don’t worry, you’ll have another harvest in a few months).
  • Trim away any dead or dying leaves from your plant’s base (this is called “deadheading”).
  • Pull complete plants up by their roots and hang upside-down in a dry, airy spot for two weeks to cure before storing them in an airtight container away from sunlight (if you have the patience).

4. Benefits of Thyme in Your Cooking

Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs you can add to your cooking. It has a sharp, slightly bitter flavor that works well with roasted vegetables and chicken but also pairs well with other herbs and spices

Here are Some of the Benefits of Thyme in Your cooking:

Improve Food Test

Thyme adds a savory, almost meaty flavor to any dish. You can use it in soups and stews or even sprinkle it on top of your favorite salad for an extra punch of flavor.

Boosting Immune System

Thyme is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, so it’s great for boosting your immune system.

Help Cleanse Body’s Lymphatic System

It contains essential oils that help cleanse your body’s lymphatic system (responsible for removing toxins from cells).

Helps to Improve Digestion

Thyme contains carvacrol, an antioxidant that promotes healthy digestion by stimulating bile production in the liver. This helps break down fats and carbohydrates in your food so your body can absorb them more easily.

Helps to Prevent Food Spoilage

Studies show that adding thyme oil to foods such as fish, chicken, or beef has been shown to reduce the number of microorganisms in these foods by up to 90%. This helps prevent food spoilage and makes your food last longer before you need to throw it out!

Supports Skin Health

The antioxidants in thyme oil help improve circulation in the body, encouraging skin cell regeneration. This means regular thyme oil can help keep your skin looking young, healthy, and vibrant!

Where Can You Purchase Thyme?

The brief response to this question is “almost everywhere.” Thyme is a popular herb available at most grocery stores and certain health food stores.

Try a local farmer’s market or co-op if you’re seeking an alternative to the supermarket. Suppose you cannot obtain fresh Thyme at your local supermarket. In that case, you have a better chance of locating it at these establishments, as they typically carry a wider variety of products.

There are numerous options if you choose to purchase Thyme from a local nursery. These include supermarkets, home improvement businesses, and even Amazon!

How to Store Thyme

How to Store Thyme

Thyme is one of the most popular herbs in the world. It’s used in cooking, baking, and even for medicinal purposes. But did you know that you should store it properly? If not stored properly, Thyme can lose its flavor and aroma over time.

Here are some tips on how to store Thyme:

Store in Refrigerator

Unfortunately, fresh Thyme doesn’t keep well in the fridge—but don’t worry! You can still enjoy fresh-tasting Thyme for days after you’ve cut it by following these simple steps:

1. Fill a glass container with water and add your thyme sprigs. (They’ll float!)

2. Place the container in the fridge and wait for the water to turn a cloudy green. This usually takes about 12 hours but will vary depending on how much sunlight your refrigerator gets and how cold it is there.

3. When the water has turned greenish-brown, remove it from the fridge and discard it—it’s done its job! The herbs should still be fresh and ready to use!

Get an Airtight Container

Storing dried Thyme in a container is the best way to keep it fresh for as long as possible. The best containers are glass or plastic with a lid that seals tightly, so the herb does not dry out.

You can wrap your herbs in the newspaper before putting them away so they don’t dry out too quickly.

You can store Thyme in the same container as other herbs and spices, but you should not store it in direct sunlight or near any heat source, such as a stovetop or oven.

Choose a Dark Place

It’s best to store Thyme in a dark place with little humidity since this will help keep mold from growing on top of your herb leaves or stems (which would make them unusable). Make sure that there are no sources of direct sunlight coming into contact with your herb as well – this will cause them to wilt quickly due to heat exposure!

Note: Avoid using plastic bags or plastic wrap when storing Thyme because they don’t allow the essential oils to breathe and will cause them to go stale quickly.

How Long Does Fresh Thyme Last?

The shelf life of fresh Thyme is about 10 days. If you have a large amount of fresh Thyme, try freezing it for later use. You should store fresh Thyme in the refrigerator to help retain its freshness.

Substitutes of Thyme

The herb thyme is an excellent addition to any dish, but what if you don’t have any on hand? Don’t worry! There are plenty of substitutes that will give your food the same flavor.


This herb has a similar flavor profile as Thyme, making it a suitable substitute in most cases. You can use oregano instead of Thyme in recipes like soups, sauces, and marinades.

The Rosemary

Rosemary has a stronger flavor than Thyme, so you might want to use less when substituting it in recipes that call for Thyme. Rosemary pairs well with chicken or fish dishes because its earthy taste complements those foods well.


You can use basil in place of Thyme in many recipes—it’s especially good with tomatoes or other acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar because they balance each other out nicely!


Sage is another herb with an earthy aroma that pairs well with meats like chicken or pork. It also goes great with tomatoes and potatoes!

The Marjoram

Marjoram is similar to Thyme in both flavor and appearance. Marjoram is a sweet-tasting herb with a faint piney aroma and flavor. It is often used to make poultry dishes more flavorful. Marjoram can be used in place of Thyme in recipes like soups and stews. It is also good in meat rubs and marinades.


Savory is another herb with similar properties to Thyme but a stronger flavor. It has a peppery taste that goes well with fish or roast meats such as lamb or pork. It is also used to flavor cheese sauces and pickles made from cucumbers or cabbage leaves.

How to Use Thyme in Cooking

Use Thyme in Cooking

Thyme is a fragrant herb that’s used in a variety of dishes. You can use it to flavor meat and fish and in soups, stews, and other foods.

Here are some tips for using Thyme in cooking:

  • Harvest thyme from your garden or buy it fresh from the store. If you’re buying it fresh, choose smaller leaves with no signs of wilting or discoloration.
  • Fresh thyme leaves can be used immediately; dried Thyme should be stored in an airtight container away from direct light and heated until needed.
  • Thyme has a strong flavor that can overpower other ingredients if added too early in the cooking process. Add it at the last minute, so its flavor doesn’t get absorbed by other ingredients before serving time!


So that’s it! I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there chomping at the bit to get in on growing their herb garden, and this time of year is the perfect opportunity. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

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