Lamiaceae (Family name)
Forage for Pollinators: Produces Nectar and is particularly attractive to Honeybees, its honey contributing a fine flavour to other honeys gathered at this time. It is also sought after by the common carder bee, Bombus pascuorum and many Solitary bees, for example the Blue mason bee, Osmia caerulescens. Butterflies are also attracted. Pollinated by bees and butterflies. A source of natural thymol*(see note below).
Flowering time: July, August, September.
Growinginformation: PERENNIAL HERB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in). Grows in any well-drained garden soil, and does not need calcareous soil (which our native O.vulgare does). An ideal rockery plant. Hardy to minus 28ºC. This species is fully hardy and with all the benefits of O.vulgare – we have actually found this species even more robust throughout hot summers and extremely cold winters (their leaves remaining bright) – and it is slightly larger leaved than the O. vulgare species, amd the taste is quite a bit stronger (and possibly, by deduction, has slightly higher thymol content). Has been used as a culinary and medicinal herb for thousands of years, and is one of nature’s best antiseptics due to its high ‘thymol’ content – – which undoubtedly helps bees control varroa mites and undesirable fungal infections. * Thymol is part of a naturally occurring class of compounds known as biocides, with strong antimicrobial attributes when used alone or with other biocides such as carvacrol. In addition, naturally-occurring biocidal agents such as thymol can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs such as penicillin. Numerous studies have demonstrated the antimicrobial effects of thymol, ranging from inducing antibiotic susceptibility in drug-resistant pathogens to powerful antioxidant properties. Research demonstrates that naturally occurring biocides such as thymol and carvacrol reduce bacterial resistance to antibiotics through a synergistic effect, and thymol has been shown to be an effective fungicide (source: Wikipedia).