ROSEMARY

FLOWERING SHRUB. The old-fashioned rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) grows to about 5 ft. with narrow glossy green leaves which are white beneath. They give off a characteristic fragrance when crushed. The lavender-blue flowers appear in the axils of the leaves of the previous year. Note that on some soils, especially in mild districts, this species may reach 7 ft. and as much through. Light, well-drained soil and sun give best results. It makes an effective hedge. Easily increased by 9 in. long cuttings of firm side shoots in August. To prevent rosemary becoming ‘leggy’ at the base, cut back the shoots by about two-thirds their length after the flowers have faded.

There is a white-flowered form of Rosmarinus officinalis. The colour variants Tuscan Blue, Corsican Blue and the golden and silver-leaved forms are less hardy than R. officinalis itself which can, in any case, be injured in very cold winters. The form R. lavandulaceus (officinalis prostratus) is a prostrate form, ideal for a south bank or against a sunny wall. It is reasonably hardy.

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