In July 1998 we went to Malham in Yorkshire and I obtained permission from the National Trust to collect thyme from the limestone pavement on Ewe Moor.  All the thyme here is creeping thyme, T. serpyllum.  It grows in the grass between the areas of limestone pavement and also on the pavement itself, where there are pockets of soil on the pavement.  There is a vast range of colours, from very pale pink to dark pink but no crimson.  The flower heads also vary considerably in size.  Roughly half of the flowers are affected by a gall mite, Eriophyes thomasi.  The mites live in the globular masses at the end of the shoots which are thickly covered in rather attractive looking long silvery white hairs, with large bracts.  I took a considerable number of photographs, collected plant material for the Collection and also collected herbarium material to show the range of colours and sizes.

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Thyme growing with ferns in partial shade in
a grike or clint in the limestone pavement on
Ewe Moor, Malham, Yorkshire.

Thyme growing in grass on the limestone pavement on Ewe Moor, Malham, Yorkshire


Thyme growing in grass between limestone rocks,
Ewe Moor, Malham, Yorkshire.
The plants are badly affected by gall mite.

Malham Tarn

There is also a considerable amount of thyme growing in the short grass around Malham Tarn and alongside the path from Ewe Moor to the Tarn.  Some of these plants were also affected by gall mite.  The range of colours was again vast and included dark crimson.

Dark crimson flowered thyme growing beside
the footpath at Dean Moor Hill, Malham Tarn, Yorkshire. 

Thyme growing beside the footpath at
Great Close Hill, Malham Tarn, Yorkshire. 

Photographs © 1998  Margaret Easter.  No copying or reproduction permitted