Rosmarinus officinalis

(Photo by Nicole Rutledge)

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Taxonomy (1)

Classification: Angiosperm, monocot
Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae
Common name: Rosemary

General Information (1,2)

Region of Origin: Mediterranean
USDA Plants Hardiness Zones: 8-10
Growth Habit: Shrub

  • Size: 2-4 feet tall
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen 

Diagnostic Characteristics

Leaves (1)

  • Arrangement: Opposite
  • Simple/Compound: Simple
  • Shape: Needle
  • Other: Sessile, revolute margin, fragrant, tomentose lower leaf surface


(Photo by Nicole Rutledge)

Flower (1)

  • Color: Light blue
  • Size: 1/2 inch

(Photo by Nicole Rutledge)

Horticultural Information (1,2,3)

  • Light: Full sun
  • Soil type: Sandy; poor to moderately fertile; limestone
  • Landscape Uses: Against walls or in a pot
  • Other: Withstands drought, avoid permanently wet soil, salt tolerant

Interesting Facts (2)

  • Rosemary oils are known to have antibacterial properties.
  • In ancient Greece students wore it in their hair to improve memory.
  • It is said that if a rosemary bush grows vigorously in the garden, the woman is the head of the household.


1) Dirr, M. (1998). Manual of woody landscape plants: Their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses (5th ed.). Champaign, Ill.: Stipes Pub..
2) Christman, Steve. (2004, August 17). Rosemarinus officinalis. Floridata. Retrieved March 31, 2013, from
3) Brickell, C., Cole, T. J. (. J., & American Horticultural Society. (2002). American Horticultural Society encyclopedia of plants and flowers (Rev. and updated. ed.). New York: DK Pub.. 

Prepared by Nicole Rutledge as a course requirement for BIOL 3630/5630, Spring 2013
Edited by Jessica Bartek