(Thymus capitatus)
Thymus capitatus


A compact aromatic cushion-like shrublet with narrow glandular leaves. The pink flowers appear between May and October grouped in dense rounded terminal heads.


Thyme is one of the dominant plants of garigue vegetation and is common all over Cyprus from sea level to 2,900 ft on dry rocky slopes and waste ground, occasionally on sand dunes or rocks by the sea. The rounded shape of the plant acts to reduce water loss to a minimum allowing it to survive long periods of drought undamaged.

Uses and Properties

Thyme is an excellent honey-yielding plant. The plant was used as an incense in temples, and in fact its name derives from the Greek name "thymon" which means to fumigate. Thyme is rich in volatile oil (thyme oil) and has been widely used in medicine and perfumery since ancient times. It was used by the Egyptians as an aroma and for embalming the dead. Roman soldiers hoped to gain courage and strength by bathing in water containing thyme. A beer and thyme soup is reputed to be a cure for shyness. The antiseptic properties and pleasant smell of thyme oil make it an ideal ingredient for cough syrups, toothpastes and soaps. It is also widely used in modern perfumery and cosmetics and as a culinary herb.