Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary)

Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary) after I brought it home on 5-20-17, #331-18.

Rosemary, Romero

Salvia rosmarinus

SAL-vee-uh rose-ma-REE-nus


Rosmarinus officinalis

rose-ma-REE-nus oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss

Synonyms of Salvia rosmarinus (39) (Updated on 1-2-23 from Plants of the World Online): Rosmarinus angustifolius Mill. (1768), Rosmarinus communis Noronha (1790)(nom. nud.), Rosmarinus flexuosus Jord. & Fourr. (1866), Rosmarinus latifolius Mill. (1768), Rosmarinus × lavandulaceus var. trogloditarum (Maire & Weiller) Rosua (1986), Rosmarinus laxiflorus de Noé (1852), Rosmarinus laxiflorus var. reptans Debeaux (1888)(nom. nud.), Rosmarinus ligusticus Gand. (1883), Rosmarinus officinalis L. (1753), Rosmarinus officinalis var. angustifolius (Mill.) DC. (1805), Rosmarinus officinalis var. angustissimus Foucaud & E.Mandon (1900), Rosmarinus officinalis var. argentatus Alef. (1866), Rosmarinus officinalis var. auratus Alef. (1866), Rosmarinus officinalis var. flexuosus (Jord. & Fourr.) St.-Lag. (1889), Rosmarinus officinalis var. latifolius (Mill.) DC. (1805), Rosmarinus officinalis proles latifolius (Mill.) Rouy (1909), Rosmarinus officinalis var. latifolius (Mill.) P.Fourn. (1937), Rosmarinus officinalis f. laxiflorus (de Noé) Batt. (1890), Rosmarinus officinalis subsp. laxiflorus (de Noé) Nyman (1881), Rosmarinus officinalis var. laxiflorus (de Noé) Murb. (1898), Rosmarinus officinalis subvar. macrocalyx Font Quer ex O.Bolòs & Vigo (1983), Rosmarinus officinalis var. nutans Cout. (1907), Rosmarinus officinalis subsp. palaui (O.Bolòs & Molin.) Malag. (1973), Rosmarinus officinalis var. palaui O.Bolòs & Molin. (1959), Rosmarinus officinalis var. prostratus Pasq. (1867)(nom. illeg.), Rosmarinus officinalis var. prostratus Mazziari (1834), Rosmarinus officinalis var. rigidus (Jord. & Fourr.) St.-Lag. (1889), Rosmarinus officinalis var. serotinus (Loscos) Loscos (1880), Rosmarinus officinalis var. trogloditarum Maire & Weiller (1939), Rosmarinus officinalis subsp. valentinus P.P.Ferrer, A.Guillén & Gómez Nav. (2014), Rosmarinus officinalis var. vulgaris Alef. (1866), Rosmarinus palaui (O.Bolòs & Molin.) Rivas Mart. & M.J.Costa (2002), Rosmarinus prostratus H.J.Veitch (1911), Rosmarinus rigidus Jord. & Fourr. (1866), Rosmarinus serotinus Loscos (1876), Rosmarinus tenuifolius Jord. & Fourr. (1866), Salvia fasciculata Fernald (1905), Salvia rosmarinus subsp. palaui (O.Bolòs & Molin.) P.P.Ferrer, E.Laguna, R.Roselló, Gómez Nav. & Peris (2019), Salvia rosmarinus subsp. valentina (P.P.Ferrer, A.Guillén & Gómez Nav.) P.P.Ferrer, A.Guillén & Gómez Nav. (2019)

Salvia rosmarinus Schleid. is the accepted scientific name for Rosemary. It was named and described as such by Matthias Jacob Schleiden in Handbuch der Medicinisch Pharmaceutischen Botanik in 1852. So, it is not a new name, it has just been resurrected due to phylogenetic testing.

Now a synonym after so many years, Rosmarinus officinalis L. was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 1,012 species in the Salvia genus. It is a member of the plant family Lamiaceae with 232 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

This was a very interesting change of events. Carl Linnaeus classified Rosemary as Rosmarinus officinalis in 1753, but Mr. Schleiden attempted to rename it Salvia rosmarinus in 1852 and he had a good reason. Apparently, that didn’t go too well at the time since Rosmarinus officinalis remained the accepted scientific name for a very long time.

In 2015, I think, testing revealed that plants in the Dorystaechas, Meriandra, Perovskia, Rosmarinus, Salvia, and Zhumeria generas were all equally related. 

Brian Drew and others proposed the species all be put in the same genus. Besides the genus Salvia, there were only 15 or so other species affected and they could easily be renamed with Salvia as the genus name. Moving or reclassifying the Salvia genus would have proven to be a nightmare as there were 1,010 accepted species of Salvia. There was already a Salvia officinalis (culinary sage), so the name proposed by Matthias Jacob Schleiden in 1852, Salvia rosmarinus, was used for the Rosemary. It took time for the document for the change to be published, approved, and the changes to be accepted… 


Salvia rosmarinus on 6-5-17, #341-12.

I decided to plant the Rosemary in the southeast corner bed. It would get plenty of sun and the bed is kind of on a slope so there will be good drainage.

Salvia rosmarinus on 6-11-17, #343-37.

Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: North Africa, Europe, western Asia
Zones: USDA Zones 7a-10b (0 to 35° F)
Size: 2-6’
Light: Full sun is preferred
Soil: Well-drained
Water: Average. Drought tolerant

Salvia rosmarinus on 6-18-17, #345-43.

According to information online, Rosemary is evergreen and cold hardy in USDA zones 7a-10b. Well, we are in 6a but you never know. It just depends on the winter. Rosemary can be grown inside during the winter as a houseplant if certain “rules” are followed. They need plenty of light and good air circulation. Poor air circulation can result in a few problems all indoor plant people want to avoid… Some of the links below provide plenty of useful information.

Salvia rosmarinus on 7-19-17, #357-62.

The Rosemary did very well and started growing with no problems. I planted the Oregano in the same bed with Marigold ‘Brocade’. I have no idea where the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) to the right came from…

Salvia rosmarinus at 23″ tall on 8-20-17, #367-23.

2017 was the first year I planted the Marigold ‘Brocade’ on the south side of the house. I have been growing this series of marigolds for many years but it grew MUCH, MUCH larger than I expected there. When the above photo was taken, the Rosemary was 23″ tall. The Marigolds were almost as tall, and in one spot the Marigolds grew to almost 36″ tall and wide…

Salvia rosmarinus on 10-31-17, #387-23.

After several frosts, the Rosemary was still green while most of the other plants were dead or dormant. Well, it is an evergreen, right?

Salvia rosmarinus (Rosemary) on 12-3-17, #392-9.

Clear through December the Rosemary stayed green and continued to grow.

Salvia rosmarinus on 1-12-18, #397-18.

January was a cold month in 2018 where we had several below zero days, even down to -10 a few times. Even though the leaves on the Rosemary changed color, they stayed firmly attached. I thought maybe it would survive

I checked the leaves as I was taking photos on March 9 (2018) and the leaves were brittle and fell off to the touch. The roots were not firmly attached to the soil either. So, I guess that means this Salvia officinalis was no more…

The link below to the Wandering Botanist takes you to a great post titled “What Happened To Rosemary”. It is very interesting.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. Some of the links may still list the plant as Rosmarinus officinalis.


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