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
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
Fruits: Groups of four smooth nutlets about ¹/₁₆" (2 mm) long.
Edibility: Leaves are used as a flavoring in soups, stews, and
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.