Rosemary

Rosemary

The name rosemary derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is from ”dew” (rose) and ”sea” (marinus), or ”dew of the sea” beacause it is frequently found growing near the sea. The name also refers specifically to the aromatic leaves of this plant, which are used as a herb for seasoning various dishes and used in perfumes. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region.

Known as ”herb of remembrance”, it was used as symbol during weddings, war commemorations, and funerals. One modern study lends some credence to this reputation. When the smell of rosemary was pumped into cubicles where people were working, those people showed improved memory, though with slower recall. Pharaohs were buried with the herb in ancient Egypt. Greek scholars use rosemary to aid study and young brieds have traditionally carried a spring of rosemary in wedding bouqutes and wreaths. It has been exchanged as a symbol of loyalty between friends and tossed onto a loved one’s grave. Rosemary has been used medicinal for long time. Hungary water, an alcohol-based perfume involving distilled fresh rosemary, was traditionally believed to have been first prepared for the Queen of Hungary in the fourteenth century to ”renovate vitality of paralyzed limbs” and to treat gout.

Description and Cultivation

Rosemary is woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It’s trusses of blue flowers last through spring and summer in a warm, humid environment. It will grow to a height of between 1-1.5 m. Leaves are about 2-4 cm long, 2-5 mm broad, linear, revolute, dark green above and paler and glandular beneath. Much of the active volatile principle resides in their calyces. It has tiny, clustered, light blue, violet, pink, or white flowers. Rosemary is propagate from cuttings of the twisted wood of non-flowering branches in early summer, or layer established branches. It can also be grown from seed. The three fundamentals for succesfully growing rosemary are: sun, good drainage and air circulation. Cuttings, taken in August, 15 cm long, and dibbled into a shady border, two-thirds of their length in the ground, under a hand-glass, will root and be ready for transplanting into permanent quarters the following autumn. On a chalk soil it grows smaller, but is more fragrant. The silver-and gold-striped kinds are not quite so hardy.

Scientific Classification
Kingdom : Plantea
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order : Lamiales
Family : Lamiaceae
Genius : Rosmarinus L.- rosemary
Species : Rosmarinus officinails L.