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Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus officinalis L.

Rosmarinus officinalis L. var. prostratus hort.

Rosemary

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyLamiaceaeMint family
GenusRosmarinusFrom Latin ros, “dew,” and marinus, “of the sea”
SpeciesofficinalisDerives originally from "herb store" or "pharmacy": a plant used medicinally (from Stearn's Botanical Latin)

About plant names...

Rosemary is native to dry scrub and rocky places in the Mediterranean areas of southern Europe to western Asia. It is naturalized in North America, and in some areas, it is an invasive species.

Plants: Erect, rounded evergreen shrub, 24-72" (60-182 cm) high and 24-48" (60-121 cm) around.

Leaves: Linear, opposite, needle-like gray-green leaves are ⅜-1¾" (1-5 cm) × ¹/₃₂-¹/₁₆" (1-2 mm). Leaves are attached directly to the stem (sessile), or on short stems, and fragrant when crushed.

Flowers: Clusters of 5 to 10 two-lipped flowers are blue, pale blue, or sometimes white. Each flower is ⅛-⅞" (5-25 mm) in size. Flowers appear from January to April.

Fruits: Groups of four smooth nutlets about ¹/₁₆" (2 mm) long.

Edibility: Leaves are used as a flavoring in soups, stews, and stuffings.

Medical: Oil extracted from rosemary leaves, or the leaves themselves, are used for blood pressure problems, dyspeptic complaints, loss of appetite, and rheumatism. It should not be used during pregnancy, due to possible risk of miscarriage (this warning applies to large doses though). There are many more unproven folk remedies.

Online References:

Rosmarinus officinalis at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Rosmarinus officinalis on Plants for a Future

Rosmarinus officinalis at cabi.org’s Invasive Species Compendium

References:

Multiple Authors, PDR for Herbal Medicines, Thomson Healthcare Inc., 2007, p. 709

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA
≈ 36 × 42" (90 × 107 cm)

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA
≈ 21 × 19" (52 × 47 cm)

Rosmarinus officinalis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 23 Jul 2019.

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Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/28/2010 · Bob and Celete’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/28/2010 · Bob and Celete’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

2/28/2010 · Bob and Celete’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Range: Zones 8-10:

About this map...