Thursday, February 5, 2009
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 迷迭香
Rosemary is a hardy evergreen sub-shrub grown chiefly for its aromatic leaves which are used in culinary seasoning and which yield an oil once used in medicine. Small light blue flowers are borne in April or May, in loose clusters that spring from the leaf axils. The foliage is white and woolly on the under side and dark and shiny above. Plants can grow to a height of 6 feet and last for years if given winter protection.
How to grow
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8 to 10. Rosemary prefers full sun, dry, well-drained and alkaline soil.
Given the difficulty in germinating rosemary seeds, it is recommended that the seeds be frozen for three to five days before sowing and then soaked in room temperature water for a few hours before sowing. Sow indoors in sunny location or under plant grow lights eight weeks before last frost. Sow at 1/4 inch in well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Spaced 18 to 24 inches (45-60cm) apart. Good air circulation is essential. It will germinate in 10-21 days.
The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine as a herb; they have a bitter, astringent taste, which complements a wide variety of foods. Rosemary is extremely high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6.
Rosemary is a popular component of herbal vinegars and infused oils where the herb will impart its aroma, flavor, and a tinge of color to your favorite oils or vinegars.
Rosemary is popular is in the cosmetic industry. You can find the herb included in many hair care products, soaps, lotions, oils, and even toothpaste. Rosemary also exhibits medicinal properties and is used for ointments, teas, and essential oils.
Then there are the other ornamental uses for the gardener and landscaper. Because of the ease with which the plant can be pruned and trained, Rosemary makes a great herbal bonsai plant or topiary.