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Thymelaea hirsuta.jpg
Thymelaea hirsuta
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Subfamily: Thymelaeoideae
Genus: Thymelaea
Type species
Thymelaea sanamunda

Thymelaea (English: the Sparrow-worts) is a genus of about 30 species of evergreen shrubs and herbs in the flowering plant family Thymelaeaceae, native to the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean region, north to central Europe, and east to central Asia.


The genus name Thymelaea is a combination of the Greek name for the herb thyme θύμος (thúmos) and that for the olive ἐλαία (elaía) - in reference to its thyme-like foliage and olive-like fruit; while the English name Sparrow-wort (used by Thomas Green in his 18th century Universal Herbal) is a translation of the name of the genus Passerina (in which Thymelaea was formerly placed), derived from the word passer "sparrow" - given the plants in reference to a perceived similarity of the shape of the fruit to a sparrow's beak. [1]


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<i>Daphne</i> (plant) Genus of flowering plants in the family Thymelaeaceae

Daphne is a genus of between 70 and 95 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs in the family Thymelaeaceae, native to Asia, Europe and north Africa. They are noted for their scented flowers and often brightly coloured berries. Two species are used to make paper. Many species are grown in gardens as ornamental plants; the smaller species are often used in rock gardens. All parts of daphnes are poisonous, especially the berries.

<i>Plectranthus amboinicus</i> Species of plant

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<i>Thymus</i> (plant) genus of plants

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Zaatar Highly valued herbal spice used in seasoning

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<i>Polygala</i> genus of plants

Polygala is a large genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Polygalaceae. They are commonly known as milkworts or snakeroots. The genus is distributed widely throughout much of the world in temperate zones and the tropics. The genus name Polygala comes from the ancient Greek "much milk", as the plant was thought to increase milk yields in cattle.

Selinum carvifolia species of plant

Selinum carvifolia is a flowering plant of the genus Selinum in the family Apiaceae. The specific name carvifolia signifies 'having leaves resembling those of Caraway'. It is a plant of fens and damp meadows, growing in most of Europe, with the exception of much of the Mediterranean region, eastwards to Central Asia. Its common name in English is Cambridge Milk Parsley, because it is confined, in the UK, to the county of Cambridgeshire and closely resembles Milk Parsley, an umbellifer of another genus, but found in similar habitats. The two plants are not only similar in appearance, but also grow in similar moist habitats, although they may be told apart in the following manner: P. palustre has hollow, often purplish stems, pinnatifid leaf lobes and deflexed bracteoles; while S. carvifolia has solid, greenish stems, entire or sometimes lobed leaf-lobes and erecto-patent bracteoles. Also, when the two plants are in fruit, another difference becomes apparent: the three dorsal ridges on the fruit of S. carvifolia are winged, while those on the fruit of P. palustre are not. Yet a further difference lies in the respective leaflets of the plants : those of Peucedanum palustre are blunt and pale at the tip, while those of Selinum carvifolia are sharply pointed and of a darker green. S. carvifolia used also to occur in the English counties of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire but is now extinct in both. Growing in only three small Cambridgeshire fens, it is one of England's rarest umbellifers. It is naturalized in the United States, where it is known by the common name little-leaf angelica.

Tudor Farm Bank

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Diarthron is a genus of flowering plant in the family Thymelaeaceae. The precise limits of the genus are uncertain. When broadly circumscribed to include Dendrostellera and Stelleropsis, it consists of annual and perennial herbaceous plants and small shrubs, with reddish, white or green flowers lacking petals, and is found in central and south-west Asia and south-east Europe.

<i>Thymelaea hirsuta</i> species of plant

Thymelaea hirsuta, Bufalaga, Mitnan or Shaggy sparrow-wort, is a xerophytic shrub which can grow to 2 metres in height and has a root system reaching depths of up to 3.5m. Some noteworthy characteristics of this species are the tiny size of its leaves and flowers and that both are also fleshy. Like many other species belonging to the family Thymelaceae, it is a toxic plant with medicinal properties that also yields a strong fibre used in the making of rope and paper.


  1. The Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening ed. Chittenden, Fred J., 2nd edition, by Synge, Patrick M. Volume III : Je-Pt. Pub. Oxford at the Clarendon Press 1965. Reprinted 1984. ISBN   0-19-869106-8