Basil Thyme - Clinopodium acinos
Often, the whole plant is only 4 cm, though large plants may be 30 cm. It spreads across the ground, only ascending when it flowers. The oval leaves are usually less than a centimetre long. The purple-mauve flowers are in whorls of around 4 or 5 and have white spots on the lower lip of the corolla.
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Open habitats in dry grassland, rocky ground or arable fields. In Britain it usually grows on calcareous soils. It is also a rare casual of waste ground, quarries and banks by roads and railways.
In flower during May, June, July, August and September.
Usually an annual herb.
This species has declined substantially. In many areas it is no longer found in arable fields, surviving only in less intensively managed habitats.
Occasional, but possibly now nearly scarce in Leicestershire and Rutland and mainly confined to sparsely vegetated limestone quarries in our region.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015