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Common Name: Caraway Thyme
Thymus herba-barona is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.05 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
S. Europe - Mediterranean in Sardinia and Corsica.
|Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera
Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in dry soils, tolerating drought once it is established[
]. Grows well between stepping stones on paths, tolerating light treading[
]. Succeeds on walls. Thymes dislike wet conditions, especially in the winter. A layer of gravel on the soil around them will help protect the foliage from wet soils[
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
The leaves of the species have a delicious caraway scent[
]. There are some named varieties. 'Nutmeg' is fast growing and has a pronounced fragrance somewhat reminiscent of nutmeg[
]. 'Lemon Scented' has a strong lemon scent[
The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to honey bees[
This is a very difficult genus taxonomically, the species hybridize freely with each other and often intergrade into each other[
The herb has a fragrance reminiscent of caraway seeds and is an excellent flavouring for soups, vegetables etc[
]. It is especially used with garlic[
]. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly[
The leaves, and especially the essential oil contained in them, are strongly antiseptic, deodorant and disinfectant[
]. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use[
The essential oil obtained from the leaves is used in perfumery, as a mouth wash, medicinally etc[
Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 30cm apart each way[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
Cuttings of young shoots, 5 - 8cm with a heel, May/early summer in a frame[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame[