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Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Rosmarinus officinalis

Family Name:

Lamiaceae (Labiatae)


Rosemary is a classic old world medicinal herb that can be used as an evergreen woody shrub (USDA zone 8) or subshrub (z. 7). The beautiful aromatic foliage ranges from dark green to gray-green to nearly blue-green in color. Small axillary clusters of tubular flowers add interest in spring to summer. The habit is somewhat variable forming an irregular upright oval to a weeping or prostrate mound. Properly sheared and potted rosmary can be trained into excellent living christmas trees.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, small shrub, medium shrub, topiary, herbs



Flower Color:

Mostly pale blue to pale pink, sometimes white

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Not ornamental


2 ft to 5 ft


2 ft to 5 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Rosemary requires absolutely excellent drainage, but also cannot tolerate extreme drought. Can handle heat, moderate drought, and soil salts as long as some soil moisture is available.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.