Salvia rosmarinus

Old Man, Rose Of The Sea, Southernwood

profile iconRosmarinus officinalis133095382
by THOR (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 9
A close up of some purple Rosmarinus offcinalis flowers and green leaves
profile iconRosmarinus officinalis133095382
by THOR (CC BY 2.0)
1 of 9
Salvia rosmarinus (formerly Rosmarinus officinalis) is a bushy shrub and one of the world's best-loved herbs, commonly called rosemary. It is covered in dense, aromatic foliage comprised of dark green leaves which are reduced to thin, needle-like protrusions. Leaves measure approximately 1.5-5cm in length, they curve at the edges and have paler-coloured, felted texture on the undersides. Flowers are small and delicate, these typically appear throughout the year starting from spring. Flower colour ranges from dark to light shades of purple, blue, pink and white. Many cultivars have been developed for garden use. Growth habit varies from upright to ground-hugging. The Latin ''rosmaris" means dew of the sea. It is a symbol of remembrance and fidelity of lovers, often used in wedding arrangements and bridal bouquets or given to friends to strengthen friendship and commitment. Considered a holy plant by ancient Greek and Roman societies. Dried leaves and essential oil of Rosemary were found in early Egiptian tombs. Used as an antiseptic during the Plague. 'The herb of remembrance and friendship'.




Flowering time

Spring, Summer


Harvest leaves and flowers as needed. Cut stems rather than harvesting leaves to encourage new growth. To dry, hang bunches of herbs upside down in a dry ventilated area.



Take cuttings and place in a sandy potting mix. Use rooting hormone powder for semi-hardwood cuttings and water well. Cuttings from stem tips will root if placed in water.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Including butterflies and bees.

Repels harmful insects

Repels cabbage whites, snails and carrot flies. Stems buried in the ground around seedlings will keep cutworms away!

Drought resistant

Once established, it is a very hardy plant.

Pot plant

Hedge plant

Clipped to formal hedges or left untrained and pick as needed, it makes an excellent border for vegetable beds.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Special features


The Mediterranean

Natural climate




Full Sun

Soil moisture


Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand, Compost

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness




Used from ancient times and popular today in aromatherapy and cooking. It has anti-bacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Use as balm, oil, tea or in cooking.


Hard stems often used as sosatie/kebab sticks. The leaves are used fresh or dried especially with lamb, eggs, cheeses and vegetables.




Flower colour

Pink, Purple, Blue, White



Related Problems

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