Skip to Main Content Ray Howard Library Shoreline Community College

Tree Campus: Rosemary

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b



Rosmarinus officinalis (LAMIACEAE)






"Plants... have beautiful bluish flowers that form in late winter and early spring, providing nectar for bees." [2]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"The genus name Rosmarinus means "dew of the sea" (a reference to the plant's preference for seaside conditions), while the species name - officinalis - indicates that the plant has been used for medicinal purposes. Indeed, early herbals devoted considerable space to the properties (both curative and magical) of this plant.

 Rosemary is often planted close to the front door, where people brush against it as they pass, releasing some of the foliage's clean, rich scent. The foliage is popular, fresh or dried, for seasoning various dishes, and is particularly good (in this writer's opinion) with meat and potatoes.

An interesting note concerning the landscape use of rosemary comes from Miss Gertrude Jekyll, who recommends its use in her book Wood and Garden (1899),

". . . bushes of Rosemary, some just filling the border, and some trained up the wall. Our Tudor ancestors were fond of Rosemary-covered walls, and I have seen old bushes quite ten feet high on the garden walls of Italian monasteries. Among the Rosemaries I always like, if possible, to "tickle in" a China Rose ('Old Blush') or two, the tender pink of the Rose seems to go so well with the dark but dull-surfaced Rosemary." Madalene Hill, a well known herb authority from Round Top, Texas, found a cold-tolerant rosemary in 1972 in Arp, Texas, that is said to be hardy to Washington, D.C. The National Arboretum has given this plant the name R. officinalis 'Arp.' More recently, a sport, or seedling, of 'Arp' has been found and named 'Hill Hardy.' Rosemary is propagated from pencil-size cuttings taken in fall or early winter. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stems, and then stick the cuttings in moist garden soil, where they will root by summer. In moist climates, where rosemaries often prove short-lived, it is a good idea to root new plants periodically to maintain a supply of replacements.

Rosemary has flourished in Southern gardens ever since the arrival of European colonists on these shores - and in every colony, for this plant was precious to every group that settled here." [1]



Rosemary is used in the food industry in oil, meat, and poultry products and for freeze-drying. [2]



[1] Welch, W. Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis. Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

[2] Guihua, L. E. N. G., & Youyun, Z. (2007). Application of the rosemary in food industry. Journal of Anhui Agricultural Sciences, 35(21), 6587.

Privacy Statement
Search the Library Website