1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Thyme
THYME. The genus Thymus (nat. ord. Labiatae) comprises a number of fragrant aromatic undershrubs, with very small leaves and whorls of small purple honey-bearing flowers in the axils of the leaves or at the ends of the branches. The common garden thyme, a native of the Mediterranean region, is Thymus vulgaris; the wild thyme of English banks is T. serpyllum. Marjoram (Origanum) is also closely allied. All these plants are remarkable for the essential oil, to which their fragrance is due. From this oil is produced by distillation the substance known as thymol.