Thyme creeping, or Thyme
Creeping thyme, or thyme (Thymus serpyllum) - a long-term lodging shrub. Thyme stalks are numerous, creeping, thin, rooting, lignify with age at the base and form erect or rising flower-bearing shoots with a height of 15-20 cm. Thyme flowers are small, pinkish-purple, collected at the ends of branches in loose capitate inflorescences. The fruit is a small, spherical, smooth black-brown nut.
In Russia, creeping thyme is often called the Bogorodskaya grass. This is due to the custom on the day of the Assumption of the Virgin to decorate her icons with bunches of fragrant grass.
Description of creeping thyme
In the wild, this plant is found in Scandinavia, Atlantic and Central Europe, as well as in Asia, North Africa, North America. It is widespread in the forest, forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part of Russia, in Western Siberia and Transbaikalia, in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Thyme grows in dry open sandy places, along the hills, next to shrubs, in dry pine forests. Thyme is cultivated in Europe and the USA as a medicinal, ornamental and spicy aromatic plant.
In Russia, wild creeping thyme is harvested in the Stavropol, Krasnodar Territories and in the Rostov Region. Registered 6 domestic varieties of thyme.
Useful properties of thyme
Creeping thyme grass contains 0.1-0.6% of essential oil, tannins and bitter substances, gum, tar, flavonoids, organic, mineral salts. Thyme essential oil is a colorless or light yellow liquid with a strong pleasant odor.
Thyme is widely used in medicine, food industry and perfumery. The plant is an old medicinal product. Thyme herb is used in official medicine in the form of a decoction and liquid extract as an expectorant for catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, pneumonia, as a painkiller for radiculitis and neuritis, as dactogenic for gynecological diseases. Outwardly - for aromatic baths, compresses and lotions.
Thyme extract is part of Pertussin, a cough medicine. Fresh and dried plant has a persistent aroma, bitter-spicy, slightly burning taste. As a spice in cooking, use the tops of shoots with flowers. In small doses, in powder form, it is used in vegetable and meat soups, and in large doses it is added to many fish dishes. When toasting a fish, it is recommended that it be breaded in flour mixed with thyme powder.
Thyme is used to flavor tea, sausages, smoked meats, pastes, meat dishes, they are sprinkled with cheeses, fried potatoes, fried eggs, eggplant, mushrooms, and used in the manufacture of marinades, sauces, homemade cheeses, and pickled and soaked.
Creeping thyme - undemanding to soils, drought-resistant, winter-hardy plant. Under it should be taken away well-lit by the sun, closed from cold winds areas with fertile, loose, neutral soil of light or medium texture, clean of weeds.
Thyme is propagated by creeping seeds and vegetatively by dividing bushes. When sowing seeds in closed ground in the first or second decade of March, seedlings appear on 10-15 days. In May, thyme seedlings are planted in the soil according to the scheme of 40 x 30 cm. When sown directly in the soil, the seeds are sown early in spring or before winter, planting them to a depth of not more than 0.5 cm. Seeding rate is 0.3-0.4 g of seeds on 1 m2.
Thyme bushes are divided in spring, dividing them into separate shoots with roots. The separated parts are planted to a depth of 4-5 cm in moist soil.
Thyme raw materials are harvested in July-August, cutting off flowering shoots with a knife or scissors.
Creeping thyme is a groundcover, it creates dense carpets, which during flowering are completely covered with numerous lilac-pink inflorescences. Flowering lasts 2-2.5 months. Thyme curtains give off a great aroma.