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Fact sheet: Thyme

Thyme is a genus of about 350 species of aromatic perennial herbs in the family Lamiaceae and native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Ancient Egyptians used thyme in embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing that thyme was a source of courage. It was thought that the spread of thyme throughout Europe was thanks to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms and to “give an aromatic flavor to cheese” and liqueurs.”

Thyme likes a hot sunny location with good-draining soil. It is planted in the spring and thereafter grows as a perennial. It can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or by dividing rooted sections of the plant. It tolerates drought well.

Thyme retains its flavor on drying better than many other herbs. To use, remove the top 1/3 portion of the plant when in full bloom and spread on newspaper in a well-ventilated room to dry. Then strip the leaves and flowering tops from the stem and store in a sealed container.

Planted in Nassau County Extension Demonstration Garden

Sold at Nassau County Master Gardener Plant Sale