Wild Thyme - Hebrides Wildflowers
These lovely pink - mauve - purple flowers display through the summer months all over The Western Isles creating great carpets of wildflowers.
Carpet of Mauve & Pink Wildflowers
These pretty wildflowers are native to the Western Isles and can be seen in many places on the Islands.
Wild Thyme is a lovely plant which produces the bright pink and mauve flowers which for a low growing carpet of flowers.
You can see it on the grassland, on the heaths particularly near to the sea, even sometimes actually growing in the sand
Insects and Butterflies
Many insects and also butterflies like this plant - especially the Large Blue Butterfly.
Meaning of the Name - Thyme - Courage
The word Thyme (Thymus) originates from the Greek word, thymon, meaning "courage".
The Romans associated thyme with courage and vigour and bathed waters scented with thyme to get themselves prepared and ready for doing "battle".
In the Middle Ages, ladies embroidered a sprig of thyme on the knights tunic, as a token of courage
Wild Thyme - In Flower June - September
Here in the Hebrides you will often see the wild thyme flowers creating great displays on the rocks (as shown in the above picture). The flowers display from June to September.
At first glance you could mistake this flower for Self Heal, but wild thyme has flowers that are much more mauve than the dark-blue of self-heal.
The flowers when crushed give off a lovely perfume.
There are many common names associated with the wild thyme, Creeping Thyme, mother of thyme" or "wild thyme" to name a few. It is also often goes by the following names - Thymus arcticus, Thymus britannicus, Thymus carniolicus, Thymus drucei, Thymus neglectus, Thymus pycnotrichus
These lovely mauve and pink wild flowers belong to the Labiatae a large family of aromatic herbs and shrubs. There are about 3000 different species.
Most species are shrubby or herbaceous. Labiates characteristically have stems that are square in cross section and simple leaves in opposite pairs.
Most plants of this family have flowers resembling the lips of a mouth and four-lobed ovaries yielding four one-seeded nutlets. Other plants of this family are mint; thyme, sage, and rosemary
Wild Thyme has oval leaves that appear in pairs along its stems. The leaves are hairy and oval and are not toothed.
The leaves, and especially the essential oil contained in them, have properties that are used in many ways for a range of things, e.g. as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic.
Two sides of the stems are hairy and two sides are almost without any hairs.
Uses of Thyme
The use of thyme was used as far back in history as 3000 BC. The Sumerians used it as an antiseptic.
The early Egyptians used thyme as one of the ingredients in their mummification process - what a thought!.
The Scots - Prevent Nightmares
The Scottish Highlanders would prepare a tea of wild thyme in an effort to prevent nightmares occurring.
Oils In Perfumery
An essential oil from the leaves of wild thyme is used in perfumery, soaps, medicinally etc. It has fungicidal properties. The dried flowers are used to repel moths from clothing.
Salads or Flavouring - French Cuisine - Bouquets Garni
The leaves of wild thyme may be used raw in salads or added as a flavouring to cooked foods. This herb is also used in cooking in bouquet garni's - which includes thyme, parsley,bay, peppercorns,cloves,marjoram and allspice.
The dried flowers are used to repel moths from clothing.
Folklore - Fairies
It was in the very long past believed that fairies made their homes in patches of thyme, and gardeners of old set aside patches for them.
|Inches and cm sizes are approximate|