The common Thyme is a dwarf compact shrubby plant with wiry stems and small deep-green triangular leaves, greyish beneath. There are narrow-leaved and broad-leaved forms, the latter being a taller and bigger plant in every way. The Lemon Thyme (T. Gitriodorus) and the Wild Thyme, or Mother-of-Thyme, are also grown (T. Serpylhim), as well as a golden-leaved form of the Lemon Thyme.

All kinds are largely used for flavouring soups, stuffing, etc, the leaves and young shoots being picked for such purposes, tied in bunches and dried slowly. Thyme is often grown as an edging plant, and is divided every third or fourth year. It is also raised from seed sown in drills or broadcast, the young plants being afterwards thinned out 3 or 4 in. apart. A light, rich, and deeply-worked soil and warm situations are best. The oil of Red Thyme is largely used in perfumery.