Herb of the Month: Rosemary



Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb that has fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple or blue flowers. Its leaves look like flat pine-tree needles, deep green in color on top while silver-white on their underside. Although it is native to the Mediterranean, it now grows throughout much of the temperate regions in Europe and America. 
Rosemary has been a prized seasoning and a natural medicine for centuries. This small, evergreen shrub is related to the mint family and has a fibrous root system. For as long as people can remember, Rosemary has been an herb that is center stage when it comes to legends, and perhaps fanciful story-telling, involving fairies and witches, weddings and burials. It is treasured by both herbalists and gardeners for its many uses. Whenever it is possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb since it is far superior in flavor. The sprigs of fresh rosemary should look vibrant and should be a deep, rich green color that’s free from yellow or dark spots.
Sometimes in Oklahoma, our winters are a little too harsh for Rosemary and it seems to get frozen out. By planting the Arp variety, or other cold-tolerant varieties, you can improve your chances of having your plant survive.