by Preston Brady III, Herbscapes.com 2023
Photos: Herbscapes.com 2022-2023
It’s hard to imagine any herb in the world as well-known and popular as rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis.) It’s been around since basically the beginning of time. It grows wild, as a tall shrub along the shores of the Mediterranean sea, in parts of Spain and Portugal. I believe a great deal of it’s legacy is due to it’s hardiness: rosemary is a tough, needle piney shrub and being tough is able to survive multiple types of weather conditions. Although it likes generous amounts of water, it can survive for long periods with little or no water. It’s found itself a symbolic, aromatic as well as culinary and medicinal herb practically all over the world. Most people who have rosemary in their yard or garden purchased it already at least several inches tall, perhaps larger. Growing rosemary from seed is difficult. It doesn’t shoot up like bamboo so it can take years to get a full-grown plant from a sprout. There are many varieties of rosemary and one of the most sought after is the Tuscan blue. In case you might want a Tuscan blue rosemary plant, Amazon has one you might like:
The medical properties of rosemary are said to mainly be anti-fungal and anti-viral. Drank as a tea rosemary may help balance good bacteria in the gut. It may also help with stomach bloating and gas. I like using rosemary on baked chicken, taking care to place a few sprigs but not to overdo it because rosemary is a strong flavor and best suited to accent along with other flavors, not overwhelm the dish. If you want just the needles which you might chop and use as sprinkles on or in a dish. Use your fingers to run down a branch and remove just the needles.
Prorogating rosemary is fairly easy. Cut off small pieces from a branch, at an angle and place in a glass of water until it roots. Place the rooted cutting in a small container of sandy loam soil. Drainage must be very good to avoid root rot, and using a fancy, rick dark soil is not what rosemary is looking for, Remember, rosemary is native to the sandy shores of the Mediterranean sea. I think every herb garden deserves a few rosemary plants. Even if you don’t personally care for it, you are sure to have someone over who does.