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Large Thyme

Thymus pulegioides

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
25 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, heathland, meadows, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, wasteland.

Pink, 2 petals
Dense terminal whorls of small pink flowers. The pinkish-purple flowers are tubular and 2-lipped. White flowers are rare. Insect pollinated.
A dry 4-sided fruit which splits open upon becoming ripe.
A small evergreen flower with small oblong to oval, yellowish-green, short-stalked leaves in opposite pairs along the stems. Hairy, woody stems. Perennial.
More strongly aromatic than the very similar Wild Thyme (Thymus polytrichus).
Other Names:
Broad-leaved Thyme, Creeping Thyme, Greater Wild Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Pennyroyal Thyme, Wild Thyme.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Thymus pulegioides, also known as wild thyme, creeping thyme, or pennyroyal thyme, is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. It is typically found in grassland, meadows, and rocky areas. The plant has a low-growing, creeping habit and produces small, pink or purple flowers. It is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens, rock gardens, and as a ground cover, due to its tolerance to dry and poor soils. It is also used as a medicinal plant, particularly in traditional medicine, where the leaves and flowering tops are used to make teas, infusions and tinctures, to help with respiratory issues, to relieve pain, and to help with digestion. It can also be used as an herbal remedy for headaches and as an insect repellent. This plant is hardy and easy to grow and can be propagated by division or seed, it prefers well-drained soils and sunny positions.


Large Thyme (Thymus pulegioides) is a versatile herb that is commonly used in cooking, but also has a long history of medicinal use dating back to ancient times. This hardy, evergreen plant is native to the Mediterranean region and can be found growing in wild or cultivated herb gardens.

Large Thyme is a low-growing shrub with small, gray-green leaves and delicate pink or purple flowers. It has a strong, pungent aroma that is well known to those who cook with herbs. In the kitchen, Large Thyme is a staple ingredient in Mediterranean and French cuisine, often used to flavor dishes such as roasted meats, soups, and stews. Its strong, woody flavor adds depth and complexity to these dishes and can make even the simplest meal feel gourmet.

But Large Thyme is not just a culinary herb. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and is believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It is commonly used to treat respiratory issues such as bronchitis, coughs, and colds, and has been shown to be effective in relieving headaches, indigestion, and menstrual cramps.

The essential oil of Large Thyme has been used in aromatherapy to help treat anxiety and depression, and some studies have shown that it can be used as an insecticide to repel pests such as mosquitoes and flies. In traditional folk medicine, Large Thyme was also used to ward off evil spirits and protect against witchcraft.

Growing Large Thyme is easy and requires well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of conditions, including drought, and is often used as a ground cover in areas with poor soil. Large Thyme can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and once established, it will grow into a low-maintenance shrub that provides fragrant foliage year-round.

Large Thyme is a versatile and flavorful herb that is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, but also has a rich history of medicinal use. Whether you're using it to flavor your favorite dish, treat a respiratory issue, or simply enjoy its fragrant aroma, Large Thyme is a must-have in any herb garden.

In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Large Thyme also has a long history of use in cosmetic and personal care products. The essential oil of Large Thyme is a popular ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and lotions, and is believed to have skin-conditioning and soothing properties.

Large Thyme is also known for its antifungal and antiseptic properties, making it a popular ingredient in mouthwashes, toothpastes, and other oral care products. Some studies have shown that the essential oil of Large Thyme can help to prevent the growth of oral bacteria, and it is also believed to be effective in treating bad breath.

Another lesser-known use of Large Thyme is as an insect repellent. In some cultures, fresh sprigs of thyme were placed in closets and drawers to repel moths and other insects, and the essential oil of Large Thyme is still used today as an ingredient in natural insect repellents.

In terms of gardening, Large Thyme is a great plant to have in your herb garden as it attracts beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Its small size and low-growing habit make it a great choice for rock gardens, herb beds, or even as a border along pathways and walkways.

Large Thyme is not only a delicious and versatile herb, but also has a long history of use in cosmetics, personal care products, and gardening. Whether you're using it in the kitchen, for medicinal purposes, or simply as a fragrant addition to your garden, Large Thyme is a plant with many benefits that is well worth considering.

Another advantage of Large Thyme is its ability to grow in a variety of soil types and climates. This hardy plant is able to tolerate a wide range of conditions, including drought, and can grow in soils that are poor in nutrients. Large Thyme is also salt-tolerant, making it a great choice for coastal gardens.

In terms of maintenance, Large Thyme is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care. Once established, it is able to tolerate periods of drought and can grow well in poor soils with little fertilization. However, it does benefit from occasional pruning to keep it from becoming too woody and to encourage the growth of new foliage.

Large Thyme is also a great plant for container gardening, as it has a small size and a neat, compact growth habit. Container-grown thyme can be brought indoors during the winter months, making it possible to enjoy the fresh scent of thyme all year round.

In terms of aesthetics, Large Thyme is a beautiful plant that can add visual interest to any herb garden or landscape. Its delicate pink or purple flowers, small leaves, and strong aroma make it a great choice for anyone who loves fragrant plants.

In conclusion, Large Thyme is a versatile and low-maintenance herb that is perfect for anyone who loves cooking, gardening, or simply enjoys fragrant plants. Whether you're growing it in your herb garden, container, or in the ground, Large Thyme is sure to become a staple in your home and garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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