how do thyme spread?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by anon125, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. anon125

    anon125 Active Member 10 Years

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    we have thyme in our mini garden.
    But it keeps spreading to the gravel.
    maybe someone can tell which variety it is.
    10 feet away? no problem!
    there is thick landscape fabric under the gravel.
    in the air?
    underground?
    how?
    thanks all
     

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  2. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    The ants like thyme seeds, they carry those to their nest and spill those sometimes somewhere in their way (or maybe somebody steps on the ant together with it's load, killing the ant and leaving the seed to the place to germinate).

    Looks like Thymus serpyllum to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  3. anon125

    anon125 Active Member 10 Years

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    who knew ants were butterfingers!!
    thanks
    Ants
    collect the seeds provided by the plant, carry them back to their nest, strip off the elaiosome/potato chip part, eat that and discard the still-intact seed into their garbage heap, a nutrient-rich pile of well-aerated soil. The seeds germinate, sending out new little plants that grow and thrive.Apr 4, 2011
    Seed Dispersal by Ants 101 – Wild About Ants
    How do ants carry seeds?
    The food body usually differs in shape and colour to the main body of the seed in such a way that it is easier for the ant to carry the entire seed. The ants grip the food body with their mouthparts and carry the seed back to the nest. The food body is then removed and fed to the larvae.

    blog.wildaboutants.com/2011/04/04/seed-dispersal-by-ants-101/
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    There are many plants whose seeds are spread by ants this way - trillium, cyclamen, wild ginger, bleeding heart and hellebore are a few that come to mind. Called Myrmecochory, it is most effective when the seeds are dropped on their way to the nest, not after they arrive.
    In my garden I have 4 thatching ant nests and can admire the 'highways' they travel to and from work landscaped by the plants just mentioned.

    Myrmecochory - Wikipedia
     
  5. anon125

    anon125 Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks
     

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