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Thymus leucotrichus is often confused with:
Thymus vulgaris Thymus vulgaris
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Verbena canadensis Verbena canadensis
Phlox subulata Phlox subulata
Thymus serpyllum Flowers

Thymus leucotrichus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
THY-mus loo-koh-TRIH-kus
Description

Moonlight Thyme is a low-growing evergreen shrub.  The plant grows 6-8 inches high and 6-12 inches wide. It is used as an ornamental groundcover and as an herb for culinary purposes. The leaves are fragrant and have a sharp spicy taste. It is a member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family. It is also known as Juniper Thyme.

This herbaceous perennial is a native of Bulgaria, Greece, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. It is found on mountain steps and rocky slopes up to 10,000 feet.

The origin of the word "thyme" is from the Greek word thumos, which means courage. In the past, thyme was thought to be an emblem of bravery. The word "thyme" may also be derived from the Greek word thymos, meaning "perfume." The plants of this genus are typically fragrant. The species name, leucotrichus, is Latin. When translated, leuco means "white" and trich means "hair." This refers to the foliage, which is grayish-green and hairy.

Moonlight Thyme performs best in full sun and well-drained soils. It does well in sandy or rocky soils. It is easy to care for and drought tolerant. The shrub may require light pruning in the spring.

The plant multiplies and naturalizes. It is reported that it is not easy to divide for propagation.

The leaves are tiny, linear and lanceolate in shape, and densely hairy. The flowers are tiny purple to pinkish-lilac and bloom from early to mid-summer.

Moonlight Thyme attracts bees and butterflies. It is deer and rabbit resistant. This low-growing shrub may be used as a container plant or as a groundcover. It would add interest to a rock garden, pollinator garden, or garden border.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves grayish-green and hairy
  • Has a sharp and spicy flavor
  • Tiny tubular purple to pinkish-lilac flower
  • Low growing groundcover

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:

Plants of this genus typically do not have any significant insect or disease problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#silver leaves#pink flowers#cpp#woody groundcover#Mediterranean#groundcover#rock garden#dry soils tolerant#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#drought tolerant#silver leaves#pink flowers#cpp#woody groundcover#Mediterranean#groundcover#rock garden#dry soils tolerant#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thymus
    Species:
    leucotrichus
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Bulgaria to the Mediterranean
    Distribution:
    Native: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kriti, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey
    Wildlife Value:
    Bee-friendly
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Edibility:
    The leaves may be used as a culinary herb. They have a sharp and spicy taste.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Schizocarp
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits of the genus Thymus are schizocarps.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are clusters of small purple to pinkish-lilac colored flowers that bloom in early summer to mid-summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are tiny, fragrant, grayish-green in color, and pubescent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are about 3 inches in height.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Rabbits