Plants: Rosemary

September 13, 2012Devon No Comments »

Rosemary is amazing. It’s used for so many things, such as a scent in cleaning and cosmetic products. In times gone past, launderers once laid sprigs of the herb on their freshly washed linens to perfume them and repel moths. It is documented as an antidepressant and has antibacterial properties. A few leaves steeped in boiling water is a nice inhalant or a tea to relieve head colds, to soothe sore throats, cure bad breath, and reduce gas. Historically, it was used as incense to purify the air in sick rooms. Also, it’s recorded that during the plague of 1665, people wore bundles of the herb around their necks to ward off germs and to ease the smell of death. “There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” So said the disturbed Ophelia to Hamlet in Shakespeare’s tragedy, listing the herb among other plants well known in medieval folklore. Rosemary is still considered to promote memory because its smell is a stimulant, making the mind alert and clearing the senses.

For the reason, that’s why whenever I pass a Rosemary plant, I run my hand along a spring and then rub the oils on my neck. Not only does it provide a nice cologne for others, it deodorizes the smells around me. Here are a few varieties of rosemary:

arp1) Arp Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp‘) originally found in Arp, Texas, is regarded as the hardiest Rosemary cultivar and it quickly forms an upright hedge of aromatic needle-like foliage. Profuse clear-blue flowers add to the effect. Takes to pruning well for small topiaries. Good flavor for cooking. Evergreen.

common2) Common Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Taurentius‘) is an upright type that grows 2 to 4 feet tall; bears delicate light blue flowers. Does not require extra watering. In a sunny location it will thrive. It responds well to trimming and can be shaped like an evergreen bush. In warmer climates, in fact, Rosemary is an evergreen and grows to be a very large bush or can be trimmed like a small tree. The Rosemary plant originates in the Mediterranean region and means ‘dew of the sea’ in Latin.

gorizia3) Gorizia Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Gorizia’) The long, broad leaves of this unique rosemary extend from thick, rigidly upright stems blushed with a reddish brown. Its leaves are fat and long, double the size of more ordinary varieties. Light blue flowers, often in the summer, cluster along tall, unpruned stems. While the aroma of the leaves is not overpowering, it is gentle, sweet, and a bit gingery.

white4) Rosemary, White-flowered (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Nancy Howard‘) Unique white flowers cover the stems of this semi-upright plant in late summer and fall (even occasionally in spring). Large, deep green leaves contrast with its stiff, almost white stems. Plants carry a pleasant rosemary aroma

pink5) Rosemary, Pink-flowered (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Majorca Pink’)Tender perennial. Although it has flowers something less than pink (technically they are described as amethyst violet), it is a delightful counter to the traditional rosemary blue. The plant has stiff, upright stems along which small, dull green leaves loosely cluster. The fragrance is clean and slightly fruity.

irene6) Irene Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Irene’) A semi-prostrate spreading evergreen shrub to 2 to 3 feet tall by 6-8 feet wide with bright green foliage and blue-violet flowers in late winter through early spring with sporadic bloom year-round. This prostrate rosemary has been touted as a breakthrough in rosemary’s because of its brilliant blue-violet floral color and greener foliage. Cascades beautifully over walls with a hummocky growth habit. Plant in full sun. As with other Rosemary it is resistant to deer and rabbit predation, tolerant to salt spray, alkaline soils and drought tolerant.

 

Join the discussion