Thymus praecox is a species of thyme. A common name is Mother-of-Thyme; "creeping thyme" and "wild thyme" may be used where Thymus serpyllum, normally called thus, is not found. It is native to central southern, and western Europe.
Thymus praecox subsp. polytrichus (A. Kern. Ex Borbàs) Jalas. Found in the wild in Bosnia.
Thymus praecox subsp. skorpilii (Velen.) Jalas. Found in the wild in Bosnia.
Thymus praecox is cultivated as an ornamental plant, used as an evergreengroundcover in gardens and pots. When maintained at a lower height it is used between paving stones in patios and walkways. It is drought tolerant when established.
This thyme has a strong scent similar to Oregano. It can be used in cuisine.
Like other species of thyme, T. praecox is characterized by substantial differences in essential oil composition from plant to plant. Plants which differ in this way are known as chemotypes and a geographical population will generally contain a mix of chemotypes. For example, studies of chemotypes in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, England, Scotland, and Ireland show that chemotypes span those countries rather than being geographically localized. Some of those areas contain greater chemotype diversity than others.
^Stahl, Elisabeth (1984), "Chemical polymorphism of essential oil in Thymus praecox ssp. Arcticus (Lamiaceae) from Greenland", Nordic Journal of Botany4 (5): 597, doi:10.1111/j.1756-1051.1984.tb01985.x
^Schmidt, A (2004), "Essential oil polymorphism of Thymus praecox subsp. Arcticus on the British Isles", Biochemical Systematics and Ecology32 (4): 409, doi:10.1016/j.bse.2003.10.003