Thymus zygis

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Thymus zygis
Thymus zygis 1.JPG
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Thymus
Species:
T. zygis
Binomial name
Thymus zygis
Loefl. ex L.
Subspecies
Flowers of Thymus zygis Thymus zygis subsp. sylvestris Closeup 2010-5-31 MestanzaValledeAlcudia.jpg
Flowers of Thymus zygis
Thymus zygis in sandy soil Thymus zygis 4.jpg
Thymus zygis in sandy soil

Thymus zygis is a type of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae.

Contents

Description

Its leaves are thin and about 8 mm in length. [1] It has white flowers. Sandy and loamy soils are ideal for this species and it is tolerant of nutrient poor soil. It can tolerate acidic to alkaline soil conditions. [2]

Distribution

It is very common in the southern half of Spain, Portugal and in Morocco. [1]

Biology

It is diploid but the chromosome number has been found to vary among the species. The size of the chromosomes are typically between 1-2 μm. [1]

Thymus zygis is a gynodioecious species. As a result, there is a wide range of female frequency (17 – 87%) and a female frequency mean of 51%. [3]

This species is able hybridize with other species of the genus Thymus when there is overlapping flowering periods. [4]

Subspecies

T. zygis ssp. gracilis

This subspecies is diploid with a chromosome number of 28 (2n = 28).

This subspecies has a greater distribution than the other two subspecies. It has a more erect growth habit than subspecies sylvestris. [1]

T. zygis ssp. sylvestris

This subspecies is diploid with a chromosome number of 56 or 58 (2n = 56, 58).

This subspecies does not grow near the coast. It is found in cold and wet environments which differs from the other two species. It has a denser indumentum when compared with the subspecies zygis. [1]

T. zygis ssp. zygis

This subspecies is diploid with a chromosome number of 28 (2n = 28). [1]

Food

Thymus zygis is used as a food source. It is used as a dried and fresh herb collected from the wild in Spain and Portugal. It is also a popular herb to cultivate and hybridize with other Thymus species due to its diverse aromatics. [1] However, Thymus vulgaris is more commonly used as herb than this species.

Essential oils

Thymus zygis is mostly used for the production of essential oils and is the main species used for thyme oil. Due to the high abundance of this species in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain is the dominant country producing essential oil from this species. There are three major regions in Spain that produce thyme oil: Almería, Murcia, and Albacete. In 1989, the production of Thymus zygis essential oil was 25 tons. From 1990 to 1998, there was between 35 and 45 tons of essential oil produced annually. There is a growing demand for essential oils so it is likely that the production is greater nowadays. Harvesting the plant during its flowering stage yields the highest amount of essential oil and the lowest yield of essential oil was during its dormancy period. The compound composition varies at different stages of the vegetative cycle. The essential oils of this species are store in the glandular peltate trichome. The main compounds of interest in essential oils are thymol, carvacrol, linalool, and p-cymene. The concentration of each compound may be different depending on what plant the essential oil is harvested from. This difference is due to the variety of chemotypes existing for this species. There are multiple chemotypes for each of the subspecies. [1]

Subspecies gracilis has two major chemotypes: thymol chemotype (maximum 68.1% )and linalool chemotype (maximum 82.3%). The essential oils produced from each respective chemotype are effective in vitro against some gram-negative and gram-positive strains. Depending on the concentration the essential oils can be bacteriostatic or bactericidal. The findings from this study suggest that the essential oils can be used as natural preservatives to prevent bacterial growth and increase shelf life of certain food items. [5]

Subspecies sylvestris has four major chemotypes: linalool chemotype (maximum 30.0%), carvacrol chemotype (maximum 25.0%), thymol chemotype (maximum 23.8%), and geranyl acetate/geraniol chemotype (maximum 20.8% and 19.8% respectively). The thymol chemotype is one of the most common chemotypes in Spain. All essential oils derived from each chemotype were shown to be effective against dermatophyte fungal strains with the carvacrol chemotype being the most effective in vitro. Additionally, there was not any cytotoxic effects shown on eukaryotic mammalian cells at concentrations that are effective against dermatophyte strains. [6]

There are a variety of uses for thyme oil. It can be found in the production of perfumes and cosmetics, flavoring of chocolates, toothpaste, mouthwash, and cough medicine. [7]

Polyphenols

Thymus zygis contains flavonoids which is a group within polyphenols. Flavonoids have many functions in plants and in thyme studies have shown that they possess antioxidant properties which helps protect against free radicals. [8]

Polyphenols found in the species and subspecies:

Thymus zygis [1]

Thymus zygis ssp. sylvestris [1]

Thymus zygis ssp. zygis [1]

Common names

Some English common names are Spanish thyme and white thyme. Since it is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula it has many common names that are not of English origin. Below is a list of non-English common names. [9]

Common names:ajedrea (Spanish, Castillian), ajedrea menuda (Spanish, Castillian), ajedrea menuda española (Spanish, Castillian), almaradux salsero (Spanish, Castillian), almoradux de la tierra (Spanish, Castillian), almoraduz (Spanish, Castillian), común (Spanish, Castillian), escarqueja (Spanish, Castillian), farigola salsera (Catalan), ferrigola (Catalan), herba tioira (Galician), herba tioirera (Galician), herba tioura (Galician), jenjerina (Spanish, Castillian), mejorana (Spanish, Castillian), morquera (Spanish, Castillian), ouregâo do mato (Portuguese), paticas de mona (Spanish, Castillian), poexo (Galician), ratero (Spanish, Castillian), rosmarinho (Portuguese), salserilla (Spanish, Castillian), salsero (Spanish, Castillian), salseta de pastó (Aragonese), sanjuanes (Spanish, Castillian), señorida de flor blanca (Majorcan), sensero (Spanish, Castillian), serpâo-do-monte (Portuguese), serpol de peñas (Spanish, Castillian), sinserino (Spanish, Castillian), thymo de España (Spanish, Castillian), timonet (Catalan), timonet (Valencian), tioira (Galician), tombillo (Spanish, Castillian), tomilhinha (Portuguese), tomilho (Portuguese), tomilho vulgar (Portuguese), tomilleja (Spanish, Castillian), tomillina (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo aceitunero (Aragonese), tomillo aceitunero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo aceytunero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo albar (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo ancinoso (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo ansero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo áspero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo basto (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo blanco (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo borriquero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo de aceitunas (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo de flor morada (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo de flor rojiza (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo de las aceitunas (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo de las fustas (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo de San Juan (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo del campo (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo español (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo fino (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo lagartijero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo macho (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo negrillo (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo negro (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo oloroso (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo piojoso (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo rastrero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo risquero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo rojo (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo salao (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo salsero (Aragonese), tomillo salsero (High Aragonese), tomillo salsero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo salsero de Toledo (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo sanjuanero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo sansero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo sansero fino (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo serrillo (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo tanarro (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo terrero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo terrestre (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo zaucero (Spanish, Castillian), tomillo zorrero (Spanish, Castillian), tremonsillo (Catalan), tremonsillo (Valencian), tumillo (Spanish, Castillian)

Related Research Articles

Oregano Perennial herb

Oregano is a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to temperate Western and Southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.

Spearmint Species of mint

Spearmint, also known as garden mint, common mint, lamb mint and mackerel mint, is a species of mint, Mentha spicata, native to Europe and southern temperate Asia, extending from Ireland in the west to southern China in the east. It is naturalized in many other temperate parts of the world, including northern and southern Africa, North America and South America. It is used as a flavouring in food and herbal teas. The aromatic oil, called oil of spearmint, is also used as a flavouring and sometimes as a scent.

Thyme Herb with culinary, medicinal and ornamental uses

Thyme is the herb of some members of the genus Thymus of aromatic perennial evergreen herbs in the mint family Lamiaceae. Thymes are relatives of the oregano genus Origanum. They have culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses, and the species most commonly cultivated and used for culinary purposes is Thymus vulgaris.

Lavender oil

Lavender oil is an essential oil obtained by distillation from the flower spikes of certain species of lavender. There are over 400 types of lavender species worldwide with different scents and qualities. Two forms are distinguished, lavender flower oil, a colorless oil, insoluble in water, having a density of 0.885 g/mL; and lavender spike oil, a distillate from the herb Lavandula latifolia, having density 0.905 g/mL. Like all essential oils, it is not a pure compound; it is a complex mixture of phytochemicals, including linalool and linalyl acetate.

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

Coleus amboinicus, synonym Plectranthus amboinicus, is a semi-succulent perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae with a pungent oregano-like flavor and odor. The origin of Coleus amboinicus is unknown, but it may be native to Africa, and possibly India. Coleus amboinicus is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere in the tropics where it is used as a spice and ornamental plant. Common names in English include Indian borage, country borage, French thyme, Indian mint, Mexican mint, Cuban oregano, soup mint, Spanish thyme. The species epithet, amboinicus refers to Ambon Island, in Indonesia, where it was apparently encountered and described by João de Loureiro. Ambon is one of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia.

Thymol Chemical compound found in plants including thyme

Thymol (also known as 2-isopropyl-5-methylphenol, IPMP) is a natural monoterpenoid phenol derivative of p-Cymene, C10H14O, isomeric with carvacrol, found in oil of thyme, and extracted from Thymus vulgaris (common thyme), Ajwain and various other kinds of plants as a white crystalline substance of a pleasant aromatic odor and strong antiseptic properties. Thymol also provides the distinctive, strong flavor of the culinary herb thyme, also produced from T. vulgaris.

Phytochemistry Study of phytochemicals, which are chemicals derived from plants

Phytochemistry is the study of phytochemicals, which are chemicals derived from plants. Phytochemists strive to describe the structures of the large number of secondary metabolites found in plants, the functions of these compounds in human and plant biology, and the biosynthesis of these compounds. Plants synthesize phytochemicals for many reasons, including to protect themselves against insect attacks and plant diseases. The compounds found in plants are of many kinds, but most can be grouped into four major biosynthetic classes: alkaloids, phenylpropanoids, polyketides, and terpenoids.

<i>Thymus praecox</i>

Thymus praecox is a species of thyme. A common name is mother of thyme, but "creeping thyme" and "wild thyme" may be used where Thymus serpyllum, which also shares these names, is not found. It is native to central, southern, and western Europe.

A chemotype is a chemically distinct entity in a plant or microorganism, with differences in the composition of the secondary metabolites. Minor genetic and epigenetic changes with little or no effect on morphology or anatomy may produce large changes in the chemical phenotype. Chemotypes are often defined by the most abundant chemical produced by that individual and the concept has been useful in work done by chemical ecologists and natural product chemists. With respect to plant biology, the term "chemotype" was first coined by Rolf Santesson and his son Johan in 1968, defined as, "...chemically characterized parts of a population of morphologically indistinguishable individuals."

Carvacrol, or cymophenol, C6H3(CH3)(OH)C3H7, is a monoterpenoid phenol. It has a characteristic pungent, warm odor of oregano.

Nerolidol

Nerolidol, also known as peruviol and penetrol, is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alcohol found in the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers. There are two isomers of nerolidol, cis and trans, which differ in the geometry about the central double bond. Nerolidol is present in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, Cannabis sativa, and lemon grass, and is a dominant scent compound in Brassavola nodosa. The aroma of nerolidol is woody and reminiscent of fresh bark. It is used as a flavoring agent and in perfumery and is used in non-cosmetic products such as detergents and cleansers. It is currently under testing as a skin penetration enhancer for the transdermal delivery of therapeutic drugs. Additionally, it is known for various biological activities include antioxidant, anti fungal, anticancer, and antimicrobial activity. It is one of several organic volatiles produced by the Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. petraea flower in response to insect feeding. Because of its hydrophobic nature, nerolidol is easily permeable across the plasma membrane and can interact with intracellular proteins. However it has a high cytotoxic potential and can disrupt the membrane.

<i>Thymus herba-barona</i>

Thymus herba-barona is a species of thyme native to Corsica, Sardinia, and Majorca. It is also sometimes known by the common name caraway thyme, as it has a strong scent similar to caraway, for which it can be used as a substitute in any recipe. It can be used in cuisine or as an evergreen ground cover plant for the garden.

<i>Thymus vulgaris</i>

Thymus vulgaris is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. Growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) wide, it is a bushy, woody-based evergreen subshrub with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers in early summer.

Monoterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of two isoprene units and have the molecular formula C10H16. Monoterpenes may be linear (acyclic) or contain rings (monocyclic and bicyclic). Modified terpenes, such as those containing oxygen functionality or missing a methyl group, are called monoterpenoids. Monoterpenes and monoterpenoids are diverse. They have relevance to the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, agricultural, and food industries.

<i>Thymus citriodorus</i>

Thymus citriodorus, the lemon thyme or citrus thyme, is a lemon-scented evergreen mat-forming perennial plant in the famly Lamiaceae. There has been a great deal of confusion over the plant's correct name and origin. Recent DNA analysis suggests that it is not a hybrid or cross, but a distinct species as it was first described in 1811.

<i>Thymus pannonicus</i>

Thymus pannonicus, known by its common name Hungarian thyme or Eurasian thyme, is a perennial herbaceous plant, distributed in central and eastern Europe and Russia. It grows over open dry meadows, grasslands, and rocks.

<i>Origanum onites</i>

Origanum onites, the Cretan oregano, Greek oregano, pot marjoram or Ellinikí rίgani in Greek, is a plant species in the genus Origanum found in Sicily, Greece and Turkey. It has similar flavors as oregano. Its essential oil can be distinguished from other species such as Greek oregano. It has antimicrobial activities.

<i>Phlomoides tuberosa</i>

Phlomoides tuberosa is a perennial flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae native to China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia; SW Asia and Europe. Enlarged, tuberous roots give rise to erect stems to 150 cm bearing purple-red flowers.

2,5-Dimethoxy-<i>p</i>-cymene

2,5-Dimethoxy-p-cymene, or thymohydroquinone dimethyl ether, is a phytochemical found in the essential oils of plants within the family Asteraceae. These essential oils, which contain the compound as a major component of the oil, have antifungal, antibacterial, and insecticidal properties.

References

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  2. "Thymus zygis PFAF Plant Database". www.pfaf.org. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  3. Manicacci, Domenica; Atlan, Anne; Elena Rossello, Juana Anna; Couvet, Denis (1998-11-01). "Gynodioecy and Reproductive Trait Variation in Three Thymus Species (Lamiaceae)". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 159 (6): 948–957. doi:10.1086/314085. ISSN   1058-5893.
  4. Sáez, Francisco (1995). "Essential oil variability of Thymus zygis growing wild in southeastern spain". Phytochemistry. 40 (3): 819–825. doi:10.1016/0031-9422(95)00347-a.
  5. Rota, María C.; Herrera, Antonio; Martínez, Rosa M.; Sotomayor, Jose A.; Jordán, María J. (2008). "Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis and Thymus hyemalis essential oils". Food Control. 19 (7): 681–687. doi:10.1016/j.foodcont.2007.07.007.
  6. Gonçalves, M.J.; Cruz, M.T.; Cavaleiro, C.; Lopes, M.C.; Salgueiro, L. (2010). "Chemical, antifungal and cytotoxic evaluation of the essential oil of Thymus zygis subsp. sylvestris". Industrial Crops and Products. 32 (1): 70–75. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2010.03.005.
  7. Rodrigues, Vanessa; Cabral, Célia; Évora, Leisa; Ferreira, Isabel; Cavaleiro, Carlos; Cruz, Maria Teresa; Salgueiro, Lígia (2015). "Chemical composition, anti-inflammatory activity and cytotoxicity of Thymus zygis L. subsp. sylvestris (Hoffmanns. & Link) Cout. essential oil and its main compounds". Arabian Journal of Chemistry. doi: 10.1016/j.arabjc.2015.08.026 .
  8. Jordán, María J.; Martínez, Rosa M.; Martínez, C.; Moñino, I.; Sotomayor, Jose A. (2009). "Polyphenolic extract and essential oil quality of Thymus zygis ssp. gracilis shrubs cultivated under different watering levels". Industrial Crops and Products. 29 (1): 145–153. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2008.04.021.
  9. "The Euro+Med Plantbase Project". ww2.bgbm.org. Retrieved 2018-04-16.