Rosmarinus officinalis

  • A woody-stemmed aromatic plant with needle-like leaves.
  • You can even train rosemary into topiary shapes.
  • Plants are slow growing at first, but pick up speed in their 2nd year.
  • Tolerates partial shade, it prefers full sun and light.

Evergreen rosemary is an attractive evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves and brilliant blue flowers. The flowers of evergreen rosemary persist through spring and summer, filling the air with a nice piney fragrance. This beautiful herb, mostly used for seasoning dishes, is also commonly used as ornamental plantings in the landscape. The scientific name for rosemary plant is Rosmarinus officinalis, which translates to “mist of the sea,” as its gray-green foliage is thought to resemble mist against the sea cliffs of the Mediterranean, where the plant originates.


It’s easy enough to describe: an evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean with dark green, needle-like leaves that have a resinous aroma. There are two basic types: upright forms useful as shrubs, and prostrate types that will spill down slopes and cascade over walls. So far, so good.

UPRIGHT ROSEMARY It flows outward forming a perfect circle that can measure between six and eight feet (or more over time) in diameter and two feet or more in height. This produces a very pleasing natural look, requires no maintenance at all and makes the perfect companion for the native landscape. Low water requirements mean low weed germination during the dry months. And as this Rosemary grows to cover the ground it smothers all weeds under it. Eight feet of weed cover from one Rosemary plant is a lot of value for your dollar. Sprawling branches and a tough, extensive root system are also ideal for hillside retention. Mass planting can fill a large expanse with rich colors. 

TRAILING ROSEMARY –  Prostrate rosemary in the landscape is an easy to care for creeping perennial herb suitable for the herb garden, perennial beds, containers, and rockeries. The plant is a tall ground cover that can cover eight or ten feet in diameter in a very short period of time. It can also trail down eight or ten feet. It makes a most beautiful planter box for a second story balcony. It falls all the way to the ground and is covered with pale blue flowers. Or, planted on a hot southern facing wall this man made waterfall is a welcome relief from the heat. Creeping Rosemary, also known as Santa Barbara Trailing Rosemary, gets a little taller each year as it grows over older branches.