Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Alpine Calamint, Rock Thyme
Acinos alpinus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acinos (ass-IN-ohs) (Info)
Species: alpinus (AL-pin-us) (Info)

Synonym:Calamintha alpina
Synonym:Satureja alpina
Synonym:Clinopodium alpinum

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By ineedacupoftea
Thumbnail #1 of Acinos alpinus by ineedacupoftea


2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Erutuon On Jul 30, 2013, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I bought this three or so years ago and planted it in the middle of the lawn in a bed that also had creeping thyme. It expanded into a patch about two feet long on the edge of the ever-expanding creeping thyme. It flowers every year in early summer. The flowers are a bright purple, much nicer than the dull pink thyme flowers. The stems are thicker than creeping thyme stems. They gradually form a somewhat woody mat over the surface of the soil. The new growth is often purple.

Because I want the creeping thyme to grow into a lawn, I moved the rock thyme recently (late July 2013). I took only part of it. As I removed the dirt from the part I discarded, I saw that there were dead stems covered in mold and rotting in the part of the plant underground. I had sprinkled soil over the plant to allow the stems to root. I think the plant would do best if it were replanted every two or so years and the old stems removed. The old patch was looking pretty bare and ratty by the time I moved it. I submerged it a bit in soil, which will hopefully aid its renewal.

Positive kittyboy On Oct 1, 2012, kittyboy from Kingston, WA wrote:

Discovered this plant at a local hardware store nursery...have had it for five years...have divided, planted it and it continues to thrive here in the Pacific Northwest, year after year. I have another plant very similar to it that I can't looks almost the same but the leaves are variegated green and ivory, and the flowers are pink. Does anyone know what that might be? Another variety of the rock thyme? It also thrives, spreads, is tough and problem free in similar growing conditions...somewhat dry in summer, but both plants get plenty of Northwest drizzle and rain and it soldiers on!

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Also known as Alpine Basil, Alpine Thyme. Underwood Gardens sells this one and notes it is perennial to zone 4.They also recommend seed be sown outdoors in spring.

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 1, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is not particular about soil type but probably prefers dry and poor soil conditions. Soil must be well-drained, though. It does not like to sit in wet conditions.

Makes a nice rock garden plant. Violet flowers bloom in Autumn.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Delta, Colorado
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kingston, Washington
Pullman, Washington

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