Thymus pseudolanuginosus
Common Name: woolly thyme 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Europe
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.25 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pale pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates drought and poor soils or somewhat low fertility. Loose, sandy or rocky soils with excellent drainage are best. Dislikes moist to wet soils where it will quickly rot. Cut back stems as necessary to maintain plant appearance or to control growth/spread or limit unsightly woody stem growth. May not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where it would benefit from a protected location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thymus pseudolanuginosus, commonly called woolly thyme, is a creeping, woody based perennial which is used as a ground cover. Hairy stems (this is the woolliest of the thymes) give rise to the common name. Stems form a flat mat often no more than 1/2" tall but spreading to 12" wide. Very tiny, elliptic, gray leaves (to 1/8"). Leaves have little if any fragrance and are unsuitable for culinary use. Tiny, tubular, pale pink flowers appear in the leaf axils in summer in a somewhat sparse bloom. Flowers are attractive to bees.

Genus name comes from the Greek word thymos (name used in ancient Greece for a species of Thymus or Satureja).

Specific epithet means false-wool. It looks very much like wool but is not true wool, which, of course, comes from sheep (and other animals).


No serious insect or disease problem. Susceptible to root rot, particularly in moist, poorly-drained soils.


Best as a small area ground cover or filler between stepping stones. Will sprawl over small rocks or over ledges in the rock garden.