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herb

Lemon Thyme

Thymus x citriodorus

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Lemon Thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Thymus x citriodorus flowers

Thymus x citriodorus flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Lemon Thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Thymus x citriodorus foliage

Thymus x citriodorus foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  4 inches

Flower Height:  6 inches

Spacing:  20 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Description:

Among the most desired of ground covers, this tough plant features attractive bright pink flowers in summer held over a dense mound of very fine extremely fragrant foliage, smells like lemon when crushed, can take light foot traffic; needs full sun

Edible Qualities

Lemon Thyme is a perennial herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The tiny fragrant round light green leaves can be harvested at any time in the season. The leaves have a savory taste and a pleasant fragrance.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Drying
  • Seasoning
  • Tea

Features & Attributes

Lemon Thyme is smothered in stunning spikes of lilac purple flowers rising above the foliage from early to late summer. Its attractive tiny fragrant round leaves remain light green in color throughout the year.

This is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial herb with a spreading, ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Lemon Thyme is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Herb Gardens

Planting & Growing

Lemon Thyme will grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity extending to 6 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 20 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to dry locations, and dislikes excessive moisture. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider covering it with a thick layer of mulch in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Herb 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features