Alpine Calamint(Acinos alpinus)

Botanical Name:Acinos alpinus
Family : Labiatae/Lamiaceae
Synonyms :Calamintha alpina – (L.)Lam., Satureja alpina – (L.)Scheele.,Thymus alpinus (L.)
Common Name:Rock thyme,Alpine Calamint,
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Acinos
Species: A. alpinus

Habitat: The plant originates from the mountains of Central & Southern Europe.In Italy, rock thyme can be found in most areas whose altitude is between 900 and 2600 meters above sea level. It is found in open fields, rock fissures, and areas with little fertile soil. Dry sunny habitats in mountains and rocky places.

Description:-
Rock thyme is a Perennial herbaceous plant averaging between 40 and 50 centimeters in height. The flowers are hermaphroditic; that is, they have both male and female reproductive systems. According to the Raunkiær system of categorizing life forms, rock thyme is considered to be a chamaephyte, specifically a chamaephyte sufruticosos.
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The plant has a woody, fuzz-covered stem. Its leaves grow in symmetrical pairs and are connected to the stem by a thin petiole. Their shapes range from ovoid to lanceolates of 5 to 15 millimeters in length.

The flowers consist of whorled inflorescences, consisting of clusters of 3 to 8 flowers. They range from 15 to 20 mm in length, and are generally violet in  color. Depending on altitude, rock thyme flowers between May and August. Its fruit is schizo-carpal ( splits into four equal portions upon reaching maturity).The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

It is anchored to the ground by a taproot and a network of smaller secondary roots.There are two subspecies of rock thyme: A. alpinus meriodionalis, with smaller flowers; and A. alpinus majoranifolius, which grows in smaller bunches.

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Cultivation :
Succeeds in almost any well-drained soil, doing well in a hot dry soil.

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.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The leaves are used as a flavouring in cooked dishes and also as a tea substitute.

Medicinal Action & Uses

Diaphoretic, febrifuge.
Rock thyme is sometimes used in pharmacology for its diaphoretic and antipyretic properties. In addition, it can be brewed and served as tea.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acinos_alpinus
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Acinos+alpinus

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