– Rosmarinus Officinalis –
Rosemary is a classic herb. Many people are familiar with its culinary flavor, and love incorporating it into a roasts and olive oil.
We have two beautiful rosemary plants in our community garden plot. The plant in the first photo (above left) has white flowers.
Our other Rosemary plant (above right) has gorgeous pale blue-ish purple flowers.
Both of my plants have grown from a small, 10 inch plants into 4 ft tall plants 3 years later.
Rosemary plants are evergreen perennials, and they continue to grow year after year. They make great aromatic shrubs and are a staple in Los Angeles home gardens.
- Rosemary is said to be native to the Mediterranean region, and it is now cultivated in all temperate regions (like so cal).
- Rosemary was sacred to ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks.
- In Elizabethan times Rosemary was worn by couples during their wedding symbolize strong fidelity and love.
- It was carried in Victorian times and during times of the Plague to smell while traveling in pubic areas.
Rosemary is pretty easy to cultivate, but it is easier to grow a new plant from a cutting rather than from seed. Perennials take a long time to grow from seed, so the gardener who needs plants now will want to buy a young plant.
Rosemary grows very well in the ground, but needs to be pruned to encourage growth and a desired bush shape. It also grows well in containers. Rosemary is considered as a drought tolerant plant, and is perfect for So Cal weather. Companion plant near sage and carrots for mutual benefits.
The beauty of this plant is that it is evergreen and you can pick from it year round. Flowering in the colder season, this plant’s branches are so potent, the flavor is barely effected by flowering.
Here I am teaching in the valley about my rosemary plant last year in my “Get to Know Herbs” Garden Experience. This plant has grown a foot taller since then.
Typical uses for Rosemary include cooking with meats (particularly lamb and chicken), fish, sauces, casseroles and stuffings. You can use rosemary to flavor oils and vinegar. It is a great addition to any barbecue or baked within fresh bread.
Rosemary is used in hair products, as it has properties to revitalize the fibers of our hair. It is also used in mouthwash, soaps and aromatherapy satchels.
Here is a Rosemary except from one of my favorite books from my personal collection, “The Herb Basket – Rosemary, Rue & Rose.” They focus on these three plants’ uses, cultivation, recipes, crafts and history.
There are a few types of Rosemary, and in doing the research for this post, I think that both of my Rosemary plants are “White Rosemary.” White Rosemary has both white and light blue flowers, which is great because it is a hardy variety.