Thyme, or Thymus, L. genus of spicy plants, comprising 17 species, of which the following are the principal, namely:
1. The scrpyllum, CommoN, Wild, or MotheR-of-thyme, an indigenous perennial, growing on heaths and mountainous places, where it flowers in July and August. - This plant possesses a grateful aromatic odour, and a warm, pungent taste: its dried leaves, when infused in boiling water, serve as an agreeable substitute for tea : the essential oil obtained from this herb is so acrid, that farriers employ it as a caustic. - A little cotton wool moistened with it, and put into the hollow of an aching tooth, frequently mitigates the most excruciating pain. - Bees eagerly visit the aromatic leaves of wild thyme, which is likewise eaten by sheep and goats, but refused by hogs. - There is another variety of this species, cultivated in gardens, and called the Lemon-thyme, which has broader leaves, and a more pleasant flavour.
2. The Acinos, Wild Basil, or Basil Thyme, grows on dry hills, in chalky and gravelly situations; flowering from June to August. - This odoriferous plant is much fre-quented by bees, which collect honey from its flowers.
3. The vulgaris, or Garden-Thyme, is originally a native of the southern parts of Europe, but is now generally cultivated in British gardens. It may be propagated gated either by the seed, by off-sets from the roots, or by slips, planted in light, rich, and well-prepared soils: its aromatic leaves are employed in broths, and for other culinary purposes. - In its medicinal properties, this species is one of the most powerful aromatic and its essential oil is often sold in the shops as a substitute for that of MaRjorAm.