Wild Thyme, Thymus serpyllum


Wild Thyme, also known as Mother of Thyme, Creeping Thyme, or Elfin Thyme, is a creeping dwarf evergreen shrub with woody stems and a taproot, native to most of Europe and North Africa. It can be found on chalk downs, meadows, heaths, and among rocks or dry stone walls. It has pretty pink, magenta, or sometimes white flowers, and creates a dense carpet across the ground. When crushed, the plant releases a fragrant herby scent, which contains thymol, an essential oil with antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. Wild Thyme can be used just like cultivated thyme to flavour meat and vegetables dishes, create interesting bread dough, infuse oil and make teas.

Wild Thyme Checklist


🐝 Moorland, including heaths, grouse moors and rocky outcrops.
πŸ‘ Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows with short grass.


πŸŒΈπŸŒžπŸ‚β„οΈ Jan - Dec


☘️ Small, green and oval, often with small white hairs. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stems.


🌷 Very pretty, pale pink-purple flowers from from short stubby stems from May to September.


🌱 Woody, with a sprawling habit. Forms dense mats along the ground.

Edible Parts

☘️ Leaves
🌷 Flowers

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ Smells like Thyme.
πŸ‘… Delicate Herby flavour, just like cultivated thyme.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
πŸ‘€ The sprawling, dense mats of green and purple are a key identifier of wild thyme.
πŸ‘ƒ The aroma of the plant is also a key identifier.


🌿 Herb - Leaves and flowers can be used to add flavour or as a pot-herb.
β˜•οΈ Beverage - Leaves and flowers can be used to make teas or other drinks.