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Lemon Thyme Thymus citriodorus

Other plants called Lemon Thyme:

Previously known as:

  • Thymus × citriodorus
  • Thymus fragrantissimus
  • Thymus serpyllum citratus
Description

Lemon thyme is an herb in the mint family possibly native to Europe. It has had several name changes and at one time was thought to be a hybrid. DNA testing has now determined it to be a distinct species. Genus name comes from the Greek word thymos and the species name means lemon-scented.

This evergreen subshrub mounds to 6-12 inches high and can spread to 1 foot wide. It is grown as a garden plant, as a culinary herb and is also used in herbal medicine. The tubular pink flowers attract pollinators and the green leaves have a nice lemony scent and are edible. It is deer, rabbit, drought and heat tolerant.

Lemon thyme prefers well-drained sandy or rocky soil in full to partial sun. Use this plant as a ground cover, in rock gardens, in the front of the border, in an edible garden or in containers.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems. Root rot will occur in too-moist soils.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Archers Gold'
    Variegated leaves
  • 'Doone Valley'
    Leaves tipped in gold in fall and winter
  • 'Silver Queen'
    Silver colored leaves and lemon fragrance
  • 'Variegata'
    Leaves variegated
'Archers Gold', 'Doone Valley', 'Silver Queen', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#pink flowers#fragrant leaves#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#mounding#edging#spreading#summer flowers#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#border front#container plant#edible#herb#buncombe county sun and shade garden#th-smell
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Archers Gold'
    Variegated leaves
  • 'Doone Valley'
    Leaves tipped in gold in fall and winter
  • 'Silver Queen'
    Silver colored leaves and lemon fragrance
  • 'Variegata'
    Leaves variegated
'Archers Gold', 'Doone Valley', 'Silver Queen', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#pink flowers#fragrant leaves#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#mounding#edging#spreading#summer flowers#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#border front#container plant#edible#herb#buncombe county sun and shade garden#th-smell
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thymus
    Species:
    citriodorus
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in herbal medicine and aroma therapies
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar attracts pollinators
    Edibility:
    Leaves and flowers can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in various dishes
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small tubular pink flowers in terminal whorls appear in mid-summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Small ovate leaves are evergreen and aromatic. Some may be edged in cream color
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Green branching stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Poor Soil
    Rabbits