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Salvia rosmarinus

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Rosmarinus officinalis
Description

Rosemary is an perennial evergreen herb valued for its fragrant, ornamental foliage and as an enhancement in cooking. Rosemary has a low tolerance for wet, humid environments and requires careful tending in an appropriate spot in North Carolina gardens. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot, and poor air circulation, which can foster powdery mildew.The plant has an arching or rounded form and, when mature, can reach 6 feet in height. Note that the cultivar, 'Prostratus', has a form that is lower and creeping.

Rosemary plants are slow to germinate from seed and gardeners might find more success propagating from stem cuttings, layering, or division. Once established, rosemary is drought and salt spray tolerant and resists predation from deer. Wet, poorly-drained soils in winter are usually fatal, and heavy clay soils and overwatering can retard plant growth, but Rosemary does best in light, slightly acidic, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Rosemary does display pale to dark blue flowers and, once the bloom has passed, you can severely prune to encourage dense foliage growth or cut to specific shapes.

The genus name, Rosmarinus, comes from the Latin words ros (dew) and marinus (sea), or dew of the sea, in probable reference to the ability of this plant to thrive well in coastal areas (sea cliffs) and exposure to ocean mists. 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Prostratus'
    low, creeping variety
  • 'Tuscan Blue'
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#evergreen#drought tolerant#edible plant#perennial#container plant#herbs#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#salt tolerant#playground#coastal#fragrant foliage#herb garden#ncemgva2018#food source#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Prostratus'
    low, creeping variety
  • 'Tuscan Blue'
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#evergreen#drought tolerant#edible plant#perennial#container plant#herbs#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#salt tolerant#playground#coastal#fragrant foliage#herb garden#ncemgva2018#food source#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salvia
    Species:
    rosmarinus
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The intensely fragrant foliage of this shrub is commonly harvested for a variety of purposes including cooking and potpourri. Oil is commercially used in some perfumes, soaps, shampoos, lotions and other toiletries.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Africa, Europe, western Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies and bees.
    Play Value:
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Highly salt and drought tolerant; resistant to damage by deer.
    Edibility:
    Teas; flavoring for vinegar, jam, bread, butter, stuffing, vegetables, stew, and meat dishes and, when mixed with other herbs and salt, as a flavoring for most dishes.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Irregular
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny pale blue to white flowers bloom in clusters along the shoots of the prior year’s growth. Where grown outdoors in USDA Zones 8-10, flowers typically bloom from January to April.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Needle-like leaves are closely spaced on the stems and are very aromatic with a strong flavor useful in cooking.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    Peeling in linear strips
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems