Rosmarinus is a small genus of evergreen shrubs from the family of Mint. The genus is best represented by Rosmarinus officinalis, which has been grown for several centuries in the Mediterranean region where it became part of ancient culture, traditions and mythology. Rosmarinus officinalis is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 2 meters and makes a good plant for hedges and landscape schemes. The plant narrow, needdle-like leaves that are intensely aromatic and bitter in taste. The leaves are used fresh or dried for flavor in carious traditional cuisines of the Mediterranean Europe. The plant is also considered valuable in improving memory and stimulating brain.
Besides medicinal and culinary uses Rosmarinus officinalis has a significant place in horticulture. It is grown as evergreen shrub for hedges. Since the plant is easy to maintain and prune, it is good for hedges, border plant or as foliage plant in landscape schemes.
Rosmarinus officinalis is quite a tough and hardy plant that survives drought and neglect easily. It can be grown from cuttings or layers as a hardy ornamental plant in landscape or xeriscapaes. Rosmarinus officinalis requires full to partial sun, protection from harsh winter and frost, and a well-drained soil.
- Rosmarinus officinalis has many popular cultivars that include:
- Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Albus’ (white flowers)
- ‘Arp’ (lemon-scented rosemary)
- ‘Golden Rain’ (with yellow streaks on green leaves)
- Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Gold Dust’ (with golden streaks on green leaves but stronger than Golden Rain)
- ‘Majorica Pink’ (rosemary with pink flowers)
- ‘Roseus’ (another pink flowering variant)
- ‘Wilma’s Gold’ (yellow leaves)