Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker - Wild Thyme Flower Fairy


I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight
 

Shakespeare from "A Midsummer-Night’s Dream"







 
   Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)

Wild Thyme is a perennial, more thickset than the Garden Thyme, though subject to many varieties, according to the surroundings in which it grows.

Bees are especially fond of the Thyme blossoms, from which they extract much honey. Spenser speaks of the 'bees-alluring time,' and everyone is familiar with Shakespeare's the 'bank whereon the wild thyme blows,' the abode of the queen of the Fairies. It was looked upon as one of the fairies' flowers, tufts of Thyme forming one of their favourite playgrounds.

In some parts it was a custom for girls to wear sprigs of Thyme, with mint and lavender, to bring them sweethearts!

Thyme has also been associated with death. It is one of the fragrant flowers planted on graves (in Wales, particularly), and the Order of Oddfellows still carry sprigs of Thyme at funerals and throw them into the grave of a dead brother. An old tradition says that Thyme was one of the herbs that formed the fragrant bed of the Virgin Mary.

In medicine, Wild Thyme or Serpolet has the same properties as Common Thyme, but to an inferior degree. It is aromatic, antiseptic, stimulant, antispasmodic and diuretic.

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