Basil Thyme is an attractive
petit aromatic ornamental that makes a good choice for the rock garden
or for filling in small spaces in the garden. Since it creeps
along the surface of the soil and roots as it goes, it also makes an
nice ground cover. It likes full sun but can grow in half day shade with well drained soil. It starts blooming in late spring and is covered
with tiny pink sprays of flowers that bees and butterflies love. If you
are using it as a low ground cover, these tall flowers can be mowed or
cut back to the ground. Late in the season or if plants are in enough
shade, the flowers will be darker.
Basil Thyme has almost as many
botanical names in its history as it has common names in the present.
Botanically this one plant had the botanical handles of Clinopdium
nepeta, Calamintha nepetoides, Satureja calamintha, Satureja nepeta,
Satureja Calamintha officinalis, Calamintha ascendens, Calamintha
parviflora, Calamintha nepetoides and Melissa calamintha.
Common names include calamint, lesser
calamint, savory and curly mint, nepitella, mountain balm and mountain
Native to Europe, Basil Thyme was
popular in the Middle Ages as a medicinal herb for the stomach. In
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, it is still recommended for
this as well as respiratory infections. It is not for use by those who
are pregnant. Basil Thyme's use as a medicinal herb has been pretty much
peppermint. Always check with a qualified
practitioner before using any herb medicinally.