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Acinos arvensis - (Lam.)Dandy.                
                 
Common Name Basil Thyme
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
Synonyms A. thymoides. Calamintha acinos. Satureia acinos.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sunny banks and in fields on chalky, gravelly and sandy soils[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia to the Mediterranean and east to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Acinos arvensis is a ANNUAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Acinos arvensis Basil Thyme


Acinos arvensis Basil Thyme
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pichard
   
Habitats       
 Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The flowering tops are used as a flavouring[4, 177, 183] and in salads[238]. Said to be similar to thyme in odour but milder and more pleasant[183]. The plant is only faintly aromatic and does not really make a very good substitute for thyme[238, K].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Diuretic;  Odontalgic;  Rubefacient;  Stomachic.

Basil thyme was a great favourite of the ancient herbalists, though it is little used medicinally at present[4]. The herb is diuretic, odontalgic, rubefacient and stomachic[4, 61, 238]. The essential oil has been applied externally as a rubefacient, whilst one drop of it put into a decayed tooth is said to alleviate the pain[4]. The plant has also been added to bath water, especially for children, and is said to be a strengthener and nerve soother[4]. The flowering plant is harvested in the summer and is normally used fresh in infusions[238].
Other Uses
The plant makes a good ground cover[244].
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in any well-drained soil[244], though it prefers a light well-drained dry soil in full sun[1, 238]. Prefers sandy and alkaline growing conditions[238]. Dislikes shade. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -15°c[238]. A short-lived perennial, but the plants usually self-sow when they are growing in a suitable position[238].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame. If you have sufficient seed then you could try sowing in situ in April or May. Germination should take place within a month. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Very easy[K].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(Lam.)Dandy.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[244]Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs
Deals with all types of herbs including medicinal, culinary, scented and dye plants. Excellent photographs with quite good information on each plant.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Acinos arvensis  
             

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