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perennial

Rock Thyme

Acinos alpinus

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Rock Thyme (Acinos alpinus) at Fernwood Garden Center

Rock Thyme flowers

Rock Thyme flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  10 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Alpine Calamint

Description:

This alpine plant is perfect for rock or alpine gardens and particularly hot spots in the garden; attractive, dainty little flowers on a mat of foliage; attracts pollinators to the garden

Ornamental Features

Rock Thyme features dainty violet tubular flowers at the ends of the stems from mid to late summer. Its tiny round leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Rock Thyme is an herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Rock Thyme is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Rock Thyme will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Rock Thyme is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features