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Arbor Gate's Picks
of the Month

Caraway Thyme

January 1, 2017 Back to Picks >

(herba barona) Caraway thyme is a creeping, woody member of the thyme family — a perennial often used as an ornamental ground cover and as a culinary herb. Numerous, thin, somewhat woody stems form a low-growing mat no more than 2 to 3 inches tall. Its stems are covered with tiny, pointed, glossy dark-green leaves that have a definite caraway scent. For the cooks, the leaves may be used to flavor a wide variety of dishes including potato salads, vegetables, and many meats.

In the past, English chefs reportedly used this herb to flavor barons of beef, thus giving rise to the species name. A significant asset to the garden, caraway thyme’s clusters of tiny, tubular, deep pink flowers, which appear in our Texas spring, are attractive to bees.

This very attractive member of the thyme family is easily grown in well-drained soil and in full sun. It is tolerant of drought conditions and poor soils, requiring modest amounts of fertilizer only. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun, caraway thyme is like many other of the thyme family, in that it doesn’t like a moist environment — in fact, it’s a good choice for a gravelly or rocky garden.

To control growth and spread, and to limit unsightly woody stems, cut back as necessary. These fragrant and beautiful thymes are evergreen in our mild winters, and can be planted throughout the year.

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