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Thymus serpyllum var. coccineus 'Elfin'

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Pronunciation: TYE-mus sur-PILL-um
Family: Lamiaceae
Common Name: Elfin Mother of Thyme, Wild thyme, Serpolet
Cultivar: Elfin
Plant Type:
  • herb
  • trees, shrubs
  • perennial
Height to: 10in (25cm)
Width to: 18in (45.7cm)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • late spring
  • early summer
Bloom Description: Elfin Mother of Thyme (Thymus serpyllum var. coccineus) seldom flowers freely, but they are likely to be pink or purple.
Soil Type: Well-drained, neuatral to alkaline soil. In an alpine house, use a mix of equal parts loam, leaf mold and grit
  • No
Plant Perks:
  • Edible
  • Medicinal
  • Fragrant
  • Dry Flowers
  • Rock Garden
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
  • Container Gardening
  • Mass Planting
Pests and Diseases: Gray mold and root rot may occur
Propagation: Sow seeds of Elfin Mother of Thyme (Thymus serpyllum var. coccineus) in containers in a cold frame in spring; thymes hybridize readily and may not come true from seed. Divide in spring. Insert semi-ripe cuttings in mid- or late summer, softwood cuttings in early summer.
Native to: Europe
Winter Sowing Zones: Zone 4-8
Notes for Identification:

Elfin Mother of Thyme (Thymus serpyllum var. coccineus) is a mat forming subshrub which forms dense mounds of foliage. It has finely hairy, trailing stems and linear to elliptic or elliptic-ovate, aromatic, mid-green leaves, to 3/8in (9mm) long.

Source: Various sources including The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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