Herbs > Rosemary Herb

Information on, uses of and how to grow rosemary:

Name
Rosmarinus officinalis.

Family
Labiatae.

History
Rosemary was carried by the ancient Greeks and Romans at weddings and funerals. They used to twine it in their hair believing it to quicken the memory. Rosemary has always grown wild around the Mediterranean coasts. One legend claims that the flower took its blue colour from the Virgin Mary’s cloak when she threw it over a Rosemary bush.

Growing pattern
Perennial evergreen shrub.

Seeds
Buy Rosemary Seeds (Organic and Non-Organic) from The Green Chronicle (Pay in $US, £, Euro).
Herbs, Seasonings and Spices - Buy Rosemary from Mountain Rose Herbs ($US).

How to grow
Rosemary seeds are very slow to germinate so they are best started off in a pot. Transplant them to a permanent position when the plants are well grown. Alternatively, beg a few cuttings from someone who has a Rosemary bush. This is best done in late summer. Ask for 6 inch side shoots and put them in a pot of sandy soil to get them rooting.

Soil condition/position
Rosemary loves hot sun and poor, slightly limed soil which is well drained.

Appearance
A Rosemary bush can grow up to 4 or 5 feet tall. The narrow leaves are a blue/grey colour and the plant has dusty blue flowers.

Uses
The leaves are good for cooking lamb and fish (especially Halibut) they can also be used to flavour biscuits, eggs, cheese, jams, wine cups and jellies. An infusion of Rosemary is said to darken the hair if used as a rinse.

If you have a question about Rosemary, have a look at our reader's question page on Rosemary.