Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which also includes many other herbs.
The name rosemary derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is from "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea" because in many locations it needs no other water than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live.
Rosmarinus officinalis is one of only two species in the genus Rosmarinus. The other species is the closely related but less commercially viable Rosmarinus eriocalyx, of the Maghreb of Africa and Iberia. The herbs are a member of the large mint family Lamiaceae.
Named by the 18th century naturalist and founding taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus, it has not undergone much taxonomical change since.
Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in).
The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below with dense short woolly hair.
Flowering, very common in a mature and healthy specimen, blooms in summer in the north; but can be everblooming in warm-winter climates and is variable in color, being white, pink, purple, or blue.
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