Thymus pulegioides

Alternative names
Broad-leaved Thyme, Larger Wild Thyme.

A creeping plant with woody stems and a taproot. It is rather similar to Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) but it is larger, the leaves are wider and all the stems form flowering shoots. The reddish stems are squarish in cross-section and have hairs on the edges. The leaves are in opposite pairs with short stalks, and the linear ovate blades have tapering bases and untoothed margins.  The flowers are pink-purple.

Similar Species

Thymus serpyllum (Wild Thyme)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

The differences between this and Wild Thyme are very slight; lower internodes of flowering stems have hairs mainly on 4 angles

Recording advice

Must be verified from a specimen by a recognised expert.  The County Recorder has asked for a specimen to be retained


Bare ground, short turf or coarse grassland on chalk.

When to see it

In flower during July and August.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread in the south of Britain but very local.

VC55 Status

Uncommon and very local in Leicestershire and Rutland – it may now be restricted to just one area.

It is on the current VC55 Rare Plant Register (Jeeves 2011)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map