Articles > Plant Profiles
Rosemary - 1/16/2015
by Jim & Dotti Becker
All About Rosemary
'Majorica Pink' 'Mozart' 'Lady In White' 'Anna Hulka'
Rosemary is one of our favorite herbs. Along with primroses, it is the earliest plant to flower in our greenhouses. (it has been blooming since January) and in our garden. It's a fragrant, evergreen shrub native to coastal Mediterranean areas. The needle-like leaves are most often dark green and have a spicy, piney scent. In Ancient Greece, it was thought to strengthen the memory and sprigs were worn by students to improve their studies. It has continued as a symbol of remembrance and is still entwined in bridal wreaths as a token of constancy.Rosemary is used today for hair rinses, tea, and in cooking. Put some on your grill just before you remove the meat or vegetables. It’s also a great addition to breads, biscuits, and pizza.
Plant it in full sun and a well-drained soil. Unlike its Mediterranean cousin, lavender, it even does well in the Southeast as long as it isn't kept too wet and gets good air circulation.
The many forms of rosemary are all considered to be cultivars of the same species - Rosmarinus officinalis. The upright types range in height from 1' ('Blue Boy') to over 6' ('Gorizia''and 'Tuscan Blue'). The low growing cultivars, like 'Prostratus' do well rambling over walls and rocks. Most upright rosemaries are hardy down to USDA Zone 7 (10ºF). 'Arp' and 'Madeline Hill' go a few degrees lower, to Zone 6. The trailing types are not as hardy, down only to Zone 8(20ºF).
Flowers range in color from dark bluish purple to white and pink. The favorites in our nursery have been the dark flowered cultivars like ‘Bonnie Jean’, ‘Joyce DeBaggio’, ‘Mozart’, and ‘Blue Spire’.
Rosemary flowers attract both butterflies and bees. Even hummingbirds visit them until their more favored flowers are available.
If your climate is too cold for rosemaries, grow them in pots and bring them inside for the winter. They look great in a sunny windowsill and can be snipped for winter cooking. They should get at least 5 hours of sun each day. You can make standard topiaries from the upright types and wire framed ones from the trailing types. For instructions, see our article under How To's - Crafts: Making A Rosemary Ring
"Rosemary is for remembrance
Between us day and night,
Wishing that I might always have
You present in my sight."… Thomas Robinson 1584
Anna Hulka Rosemary:http://www.goodwincreekgardens.com/product.asp?specific=2302
Herb Cottage: http://www.goodwincreekgardens.com/product.asp?specific=2310
Nancy Howard: http://www.goodwincreekgardens.com/product.asp?specific=2316
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