Red carpets of flowers on the wayside – Thyme

On dry, nutrient-poor roadsides, the red carpets of field thyme (Thymus pulegioides) create attractive splashes of colour. If you look closely at the flowers (preferably with a magnifying glass), you can see small lip-shaped flowers with a two-part upper lip and a three-part lower lip, from which 2 long and 2 short stamens protrude. Field thyme contains essential oils with a typical thyme odour; some varieties also smell of lemon.

In the Sennethere is a second type of thyme, sand thyme (Thymus serpyllum), which is much rarer than field thyme and can be distinguished by the hair on the stem.

Thymian – Thymus vulgaris (Foto: H. Arjes)