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Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)—Walter Chandoha
Pungent herb (Thymus vulgaris) of the mint family, native to southern Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, and cultivated in North America. A small, low-growing shrub, it has small, curled leaves that give off a fragrant odour when crushed. The dried leaves and flowering tops are used to flavour a wide range of foods. Bees are fond of thyme, and Sicily's thyme honey has been famous for centuries. The essential oil has antiseptic and anesthetic properties and is used as an internal medicine; it is also used in perfumes and toothpastes.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on thyme, visit Britannica.com.