Thymus Species, Woolly Thyme, Creeping Thyme, Wild Thyme

Thymus praecox subsp. britannicus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Thymus (TY-muss) (Info)
Species: praecox subsp. britannicus
Synonym:Thymus arcticus
Synonym:Thymus britannicus
Synonym:Thymus drucei
Synonym:Thymus neglectus
Synonym:Thymus pseudolanuginosus
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Seward, Alaska

Berkeley, California

Frazier Park, California

Northridge, California

Penn Valley, California

Pittsburg, California

Sacramento, California

San Jose, California

Stockton, California

Sunnyvale, California

Delta, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Boise, Idaho

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Winnetka, Illinois

Wichita, Kansas

Melbourne, Kentucky

Madison Heights, Michigan

Marshall, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

White Pigeon, Michigan

Albertville, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Marietta, Mississippi

Saint Louis, Missouri

Billings, Montana

Reno, Nevada

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Alden, New York

Dunkirk, New York

North Tonawanda, New York

West Kill, New York

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Coshocton, Ohio

Fort Jennings, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Christiana, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah (2 reports)

Essex Junction, Vermont

Linden, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

East Port Orchard, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Great Cacapon, West Virginia

Oostburg, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 20, 2013, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I planted six sad-looking, clearance-end-of-the-season plants along the edge of my driveway bed. There is a concrete wall about a foot high. One didn't make it through the first winter but the others did I loved them so I added six more in much better condition. Two winters now and they all look great. I love how it drapes over the concrete wall. Most are 1.5-2 feet in diameter.


On Apr 12, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Last summer I planted this in a place where it gets shaded by sunflowers, so it grew thin and spindly. But I buried some stems and got them to root. Despite its spindliness, the plant survived the winter, and this spring I moved some of the rooted stems to better locations.


On May 13, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

Good ground cover for poor dry soil, sun. Looks sweet spilling over patios and walls. Grows moderately fast.


On Sep 22, 2008, soive2000 from Austin, TX wrote:

This is my first year planting thyme in general, which included wooly, elfin, lemon, lime, pink chintz and I think a couple of others. The wooly is the most hardy so far from what I can tell. The elfin comes in second. I planted these to grow some ground cover after I dug out the entire front yard of weeds.
I have many more to plant, but I am very happy with the results. I adore the scents I get and the lovely look to the plant. I have planted it from full sun to partial shade doing well in all of these. I did lose some when I first planted them, but I figured as a beginner gardener I did alright for myself. I am sated with my decision to plant them so far.


On Jul 5, 2008, momcat_one from Wappingers Falls, NY wrote:

I fell in love with these at the nursery. We planted them on the top of a sloped area, mostly shady. A few days later we got a 3" rainstorm, and now it looks like it is dead. I'm waiting a while longer t see if it recovers. But if you can't plant it high on the hill, where it can't drown, how could it?


On Jun 5, 2008, janecarol2 from Fort Jennings, OH wrote:

I planted woolly thyme in a trough. It overwintered outside very well in my Z5 garden without any protection. It did have a little die back though. So soft and fuzzy.


On May 17, 2008, MissFabulous from Dunkirk, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a great spreading groundcover, but I've had mine in for about four years and it's never bloomed. It's spread out to over 2' in diameter from a little tiny plant, though!


On Dec 23, 2007, jonaflatooni from Port Orchard, WA wrote:

Great plant. Drought tolerant, fast spreader, nice pink flowers, easy to propogate by division of clumps, pleasant feel to the touch, can take moderate traffic.

Great for inbetween rocks, flagstones, etc. A good option to replace a lawn area. You can remove the lawn, position several large rocks and allow the wholly thyme to cover the entire surface area and waterfall over the rocks.


On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is the nicest feeling plant to pet. It spreads well and is easy to take starts of. In the winter it gets a purplish tint.


On Oct 2, 2005, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

I added this little fellow to one of my raised bed, situating it on the edge of the rocked border. It has climbed over the rock to bask in the sun and appears quite happy. I mulch this bed with straw, then cover with plastic after the first freeze, and my woolly thyme has returned for the last four seasons.


On Jul 13, 2005, Badger4077 from Victoria,
Canada wrote:

Wonderful a landscaper, have used this plant as a filler, groundcover and has done really well on greenroofs as well.


On May 20, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a great plant for rock gardens, between stepping stones in a walkway or just where ever you need a perennial, low-growing bit of green.


On May 4, 2005, prydain55 from Reno, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I planted a large amount of wooly thyme last year and it survived well through one of the harshest winters I've ever seen in Reno. It is coming back with vigor except for one spot where there has been abused by lots of foot traffic. It also tolerates two dogs who have decided to make it their bathroom though I wish they would stop.


On Aug 9, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I've loved this plant for over 50 years! I have lost it over the winter many times in my mother's 5b garden in Connecticut, but it has withstood the past three very harsh winters in my zone 4b rock garden on an exposed mountain slope in the Catskill mountains. It does not bloom for me, but flowers are sort of beside the point. The small woolly fragrant leaves are enough for me!


On Aug 9, 2004, BingsBell from SC, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

A hardy little plant. I started two tiny plugs three years ago in my raised bed. I knew when we finished putting in the stepping stones I would want some to plant between them. They gave me an abundance of plants to use and they are wonderful.


On Aug 8, 2004, willynilly from Berkeley, CA wrote:

I planted a six-pack of small woolly thyme plants between flagstones about 3 months ago (April-ish) in Berkeley, CA. Full sun, not so great soil. They've spread to 5-6" each and have bloomed in pink, fat spikes of flowers. Once they became established, they haven't seemed to need much water. They also seem able to take a bit of abuse (hose dragging and trampling). We'll see how they do as we move to fall/winter, but so far, so good.


On Apr 26, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The classic heart-breaker. In areas with hot, humid summer plant typically rots quickly. Light afternoon shade helps. Planting on slope also helps. Planting beneath or above stepping stones also helps. Continual layering also helps: every 2-3 inches peg a stem to the ground to enable it to form its own roots. Plant seems to do better with many rootlets.