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Thymus herba-barona

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Subtribus: Menthinae
Genus: Thymus
Sectio: T. sect. Serpyllum
Subsectio: T. subsect. Pseudopiperellae
Species: Thymus herba-barona

Thymus herba-barona Loisel., Fl. Gall. 2: 360. 1807.


Acinos herba-barona (Loisel.) G.Don in Loud., Hort. Brit. 239. 1830.
Calamintha herba-barona (Loisel.) Heynh., Nom. Bot. Hort. 144. 1840.
Origanum herba-barona (Loisel.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 528. 1891.

Thymus affinis Sieber ex Benth., Labiat. Gen. Spec. 343. 1834.
Thymus attenuatus St.-Lag., Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon 7: 136. 1880.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2015. Thymus herba-barona in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2015 Sep 27. Reference page.
Loiseleur-Deslongchamps, J. (1807) Flora Gallica 2: 360.
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

Vernacular names
English: Caraway Thyme
italiano: Timo erba barona
sardu: Armidda

Thymus herba-barona is a species of thyme native to Corsica, Sardinia, and Majorca. It is also sometimes known by the common name caraway thyme, as it has a strong scent similar to caraway, for which it can be used as a substitute in any recipe. It can be used in cuisine or as an evergreen ground cover plant for the garden.

There are two subspecies:

Thymus herba-barona subsp. herba-barona. Corsica, Sardinia
Thymus herba-barona subsp. bivalens. Majorca (Spain)


Caraway thyme is a creeping, woody-based perennial, growing to 10 to 25 cm (4 to 10 in) high and spreading out across the ground to a width of 30 cm (12 in). The leaves are 4 to 10 mm (0.2 to 0.4 in) long, lanceolate, dark glossy green and hairy. The foliage has a strong aroma of caraway. The flowers are pink with four petals and a prominent lower lip. They are produced in late spring and early summer, and are attractive to bees and butterflies.[1]
Cultivation and uses

Caraway thyme grows best in average soil with light watering and full sunlight. The plant was favoured in England as a seasoning for barons of beef; this inspired its scientific name. It is cultivated in gardens across the world. Caraway thyme is difficult to grow from seed, so it is usually purchased as young plants 5–10 cm high, in small pots.

Caraway thyme contains an essential oil and the plant has antiseptic, deodorant and disinfectant uses. It also has uses in perfumery, as a mouth wash and as a traditional medicine.[2] A study undertaken to compare the essential oil with similar oils from two other members of the genus found that all three had similar antimicrobial activities against gram-positive bacteria and against mycetes as compared to the well known antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate.[3]

"Thymus herba-barona". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
"Thymus herba-barona". Plants for a Future. Retrieved 2013-12-10.

Juliano, Claudia; Mattana, Antonella; Usai, Marianna (2000). "Composition and in vitro Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Thymus herba-barona Loisel Growing Wild in Sardinia". Journal of Essential Oil Research. 12 (4): 516–522. doi:10.1080/10412905.2000.9699578.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thymus herba-barona.

Flora Europaea: Thymus herba-barona
Demography, population structure and dynamics of Thymus herba-barona subsp. bivalens (Lamiaceae) (pdf file)

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