Greek Thyme II
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Mary Ruddick
Posted on: May 07, 2006

I was looking for Greek thyme myself (ancient Greek Thymos = Soul!!!) when I ended up reading Rosa Haritos’ question to you.

Greek thyme is far from being the Greek mountain tea or ‘Sideritis syriaca, which is sold in several places on Athenas Street near the Central Food Market of Athens called "Barbakios Agora" -- pronounced Varvakios; -- although in different parts of the country people call mountain tea something entirely different, which they get from their own regional flora.

Born and grown in Athens, before the cement monster devoured most of the pretty Attica plants that grew wild in all the surrounding neighborhoods of Athens, I saw chamomile {low weed,} tsouknides (Latin urtica, English urticaria,) which gave us quite a grief when we would barely come near it, and its antidote, which always grew near it, the molocha (ancient Greek malache), and which would save us from the pain by rubbing the area where we had come in contact with urticaria. I saw wild yellow and white daisies and many, many more colorful plants and weeds the proper name of which I am not familiar. Thyme did not grow in the lower parts of Attica -- Athens greater area is called Attica -- but on all the rocky mountains that surround Athens. In late spring and summer thyme was on natures pallette that stroke those barren mountainous rocks with the silver of its foliage and with the light lilac-pinkish colors of its blossom making them look ready to pose for an artist to paint.

Oh! The Greek thyme it is not only pretty in appearance, but it smells so good as well, perhaps a little more pleasantly strong than other Thymus vulgaris, and it is also the agent to one of the most renown honeys: the Attiki Thyme Honey. Finally, the Greek thyme is not exclusive to Attica, it grows all over Greece, and Greeks always love to cut a piece of their thymari when they go out for a hike.

Thank you for your feedback. Your information, borne from personal experience, is very valuable to us.

Perhaps the plant you are looking for is Thymus capitatus. This species is known to grow in pastures in Greece. Here are links found at Google Images to some photos of Thymus capitatus:

Perhaps you can decide for yourself from the pictures if Thymus capitatus is what are looking for. We do not carry it, but if it turns out to be the greek thyme that you are looking for then we would be interested in growing it for possible inclusion in a future catalogue.

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