Charming evergreen shrubs with narrow, aromatic leaves and small blue flowers, freely produced in spring or even earlier in warm, sheltered places. They grow best in well-drained soils and will withstand a good deal of heat and drought. All are a little tender, some more so than others, but the common rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, can be grown successfully in all but the coldest parts of the British Isles. Typically bushy, 3 or 4 ft. high, it has numerous varieties including white flowered, pink flowered, deeper blue flowered and narrowly erect forms.

R. lavandulaceus (also known as R. officinalis prostratus) is prostrate or semi-weeping, a lovely shrub for the top of a sunny terrace wall, but decidedly more tender than the common rosemary. All kinds can be pruned in spring, immediately after flowering, but frost-damaged growth should be removed as soon as noted.

Rosmarinus officinalis

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