Native to the Mediterranean region. Over the centuries it has been introduced into northern Europe. The story goes that Phillipa of Hainault, the wife of King Edward III of England was the first person to grow Rosmarinus officinalis in the 14th century.
The branches of this evergreen shrub are brown, tightly covered in leaves.
The stimulating properties of Rosemary essential oil has been found helpful in keeping alert, for example when on a long car journey.
Complex small flowers, white or pale blue, with purple markings borne in small clusters. Two protruding stamens.
Linear narrow blade leaf, like grass. Narrow and pointed, leathery, turned downwards, whitish underneath.
Nut: 4 small nuts, enclosed within the calyx.
Leaves: strongly aromatic and widely used in cookery, traditionally to flavour lamb.
Leaves: aid digestion of fatty food, stimulate circulation and ease pain by increasing blood supply where applied. Antiseptic. Extracts are used in hair, skin and bath preparations.