Thymus praecox ssp. polytrichus is one of the 250 or so species that make up this genus. This is a ground hugging woody perennial, rarely making 35mm in height. Growth follows and moulds itself to the contours of the land. In bloom it is a mass of individual light purple flowers. A native to Spain, Portugal and the Azores where it appreciates the heat from the sun. Here it is at home in the alpine area absorbing heat from the sun and indirectly through the paving it colonises. The scent from thymol contained within the foliage and flowers is released on warm days or by bruising the plant parts.