Botanical Name: Thymus praecox arcticus 'Elfin'
Common Name: Elfin Creeping Thyme  
Plant photo of: Thymus praecox arcticus 'Elfin'
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Water Saving Tip:

Check the soil's moisture level before watering.

You can reduce your water use 20-50% by regularly checking the soil before watering.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Ground cover, Perennial, Herb


Height Range

Under 1'


Flower Color



Flower Season

Spring, Summer


Leaf Color

Grey Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season








Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH



Adverse Factors

Attracts Bees

Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Japanese, Mediterranean, Seascape, Spanish


Accenting Features

Fragrance, Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Entry, Perennial Border, Parking Strip, Patio, Walls / Fences, Walkways, With Rocks


Special Uses

Mass Planting, Lawn Alternative, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

All of the thymes are relatively low growing creepers. Elfin Thyme has attractive, soft, gray-green foliage that forms a slow spreading, tightly matted mound. This is a perfect plant for between pavers and if you have the patience, it makes a nice lawn alternative. The lavender-pink flowers bloom in early summer and attract bees and butterflies. Grows 1 to 2 inches tall, with a spread of 12 to 18 inches.
Grow in well drained soil in full sun. Adaptive to soil types, but well draining is a must. If using over a large area for a groundcover, plant on 15 to 18 inch centers to ensure that it fills in by the end of the season. Thymes, while drought tolerant once established, need to be watered regularly for several weeks or until established. If using as a groundcover, plant plugs on 6 inch centers for a dense mat. Makes a nice alternative to turf. Deer and rabbit resistant.