Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Quick facts and care essentials

• Evergreen
• Zones 4-24
• Full sun
• Little or no water once established

A shrubby perennial with aromatic needlelike foliage, rosemary is available in numerous varieties, in heights ranging from 1 1/2 to 4 feet. Most are hardy in Zones 4-24, 26-32, but 'Arp' has survived temperatures as low as -10 degrees F/-23 degrees.

 Rosemary is widely used as a landscape plant and also does well in containers; container-grown plants can be brought indoors for the winter in cold regions. Set plants 2 to 3 feet apart.

Short, narrow green leaves with grayish white undersides grow on woody stems ranging from 1 to 6 feet tall. Perennial in zones 4-24, H1-H2

BEST CULINARY VARIETIES: Some of the best varieties for cooking are 'Blue Spires', 'Gorizia', and 'Tuscan Blue'. Avoid rosemary plants with strong pine or turpentine undertones. 'Arp' is hardy to -10°.

GROWING TIP: These are tough plants that take wind and salt spray, or inland heat if given moderate water. Too much fertilizer and water produce rank growth and woodiness.

HARVEST TIP: Prune regularly to encourage new growth.

USES: Beef, breads, cheeses, dressings, eggs, lamb, legumes, marinades, oils, potatoes, poultry, roasted game, seafood, soups, stews, stuffings, and vegetables.