There is already an exquisite thread concerning the plant described in the book link here and its relative real life counterpart, but my question is about the one actually used in the movies .

Any information anyone?


2 Answers 2


The second-to-last post here claims that

Actually, the plant used in the movies is white thyme. It grows everywhere, can be used medicinally, is considered an invasive plant and is also given to the pigs to eat. It is also found in purple

However, the images they show are of Thymus serpyllum (Wikipedia), whereas the only references I can find to invasive thyme in NZ are about Thymus vulgarum (wild thyme) (Wikipedia), e.g. here.

The last post says it's common myrtle (Myrtus communis).

Hard to tell scale from the screenshot: this picture suggests the flowers are quite small (~ 1 cm in diameter?)

enter image description here

New guess: https://identify.plantnet.org/ thinks Bacopa repens (Sw.) Wettst. Creeping waterhyssop. But is the habitat wet enough ... ??

(More guesses from PlantNet: Acleisanthes longiflora A.Gray (Angel trumpet), Silene pinetorum Boiss. & Heldr., Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst. (Monnier's hedge hyssop) ...

Water hyssop from Gerlinde (cc-by-sa) - Sep 13, 2021:

enter image description here

  • 2
    It isn't thyme or myrtle, both have flowers quite different to the ones seen in the photo. Myrtle would have hair-like stamens in the middle of the flower obscuring the middle of the flower. Thyme has only 4 petals, and the three at the bottom are larger. The plant in question has 5 petals, is semi-woody at best (given it's droopy nature). I think I have some of this growing in my garden, but damned if I know the name. I think the Biology SE or perhaps the Gardening SE might know.
    – bob1
    Commented Apr 29 at 22:11
  • Go out in your garden and use a plant ID app like iNaturalist ?
    – Ben Bolker
    Commented Apr 29 at 22:43
  • I shall try and see if I can locate it. No flowers at the moment I think unfortunately.
    – bob1
    Commented Apr 29 at 22:49
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    Hi everyone, together with this thread I started in parallel a topic on a Bothanical forum to check the hypotheses gathered and get advise as we move forward. The current advise is to exclude Lamiaceae family, so we can exclude Thyme
    – Mars_87
    Commented May 1 at 8:30
  • 2
    Current advise seems towards Chaenostoma cordatum or a white Periwinkle species. Here are some images inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&taxon_id=501464
    – Mars_87
    Commented May 1 at 9:28

According to the European Botanical Forum I'm in touch with, the hypothesis of Chaenostoma cordatum has been confirmed.

The actual suggestion leads towards the cv. Snowflake, with small flowers. Here some pictures narrowed to the NZ landscape, thanks to @Ben Bolker https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6803&taxon_id=501464

  • 2
    It would be better to include any relevant images within your answer itself, rather than just linking to a page on another site where they can currently be viewed. A direct quote of what you were told by the European Botanical Forum would also be appreciated. Commented May 4 at 20:08

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