I’ve always thought that plants with variegated leaves were the prettiest. I love flowers but the leaves are what we see the vast majority of the time. Silver edged lemon thyme is a lovely little plant with both pretty leaves and pretty little flowers. It has been around for a long time. It was first identified in 1811.
Since 1811, botanists reclassified thymus citriodorus as a cultivar or cross. Throughout history it has worn a number of names (thymus x citriodorus, thymus serphyllum citratus, thymus fragrantissimus, etc.) and has been thought to have originated in several different places. My personal favorite is thymus fragrantissimus – has a royal, and appropriately descriptive ring to it. Recently, scientists suspect that original 1811 description was correct and that this is a distinct plant species and it seems that thymus citriodorus has finally become the commonly accepted name.
Thymus citriodorus is a flavorful culinary herb. It offers a blended flavor of thyme and lemon. Handling the plant releases a citrus-ey, fresh scent. But, I suspect many people grow silver-edged thyme for it’s ornamental properties.
Growing Silver Thyme
Silver thyme grows differently than Thymus vulgaris. It is often classified as a creeping thyme rather than an upright variety. It generally grows up to 4.5 inches tall and can spread to 12 inches. My guess it that is could spread a lot further though. I recently purchased a silver edged lemon thyme plant and several of the branches have roots from where they were touching the dirt of another pot. The leaves are very tiny which is why I purchased the plant as part of my other website project Tiny Green Gardens and plan on using this thyme in a fairy garden.
These thymes like sunlight and simply do not do well if they do not get it in abundance. It is classified as a perennial evergreen but only for zones 7-10. The rest of us need to bring it indoors during the winter or otherwise shelter it from below freezing temperatures.
Hirt’s Gardens is selling the variety Silver Posie Thyme, growing in 3 inch pots on Amazon.