Latin meaning “Dew of the Sea”
By Anna Randall
Sweet Valley Rosemary is considered a triple threat herb for good reason!
It’s ornamental, it’s fragrant, and most importantly it is delicious! That might be why it continues to grow in popularity and we almost can’t keep up with the demand. Rosemary is a unique evergreen shrub, with a strong pine-like aroma, and wonderful savory flavor.
Native to the Mediterranean region and naturally growing by the sea, it is no wonder it is referred to as “Dew of the Sea.” Rosemary has a woody stem and needle-like leaves, it prefers to dry out between watering and loves the humidity. Plant rosemary in full sun and well-drained soil. In warmer climates, it is considered a perennial, in cooler climates, it can be brought in for the winter.
I will start with my favorite, Rosmarinus officinalis Gorizia. This rosemary is a large, robust plant from Gorizia, Italy. It has broad leaves twice the size of common rosemary and, in my opinion, the best and most intense flavor. This would be my first choice for the culinary herb garden.
Rosemary officinalis Standard is also a delightfully flavored rosemary. Not as strong as the Gorizia I would say it is the next step down in flavor. If you find Gorizia too strong, try this one!! Equally as good with meat, in dressings, and to season oven roasted potatoes, it’s the next best choice. The standard variety will grow into a nice upright, bushy plant, and it is a must-have.
Rosmarinus officinalis Barbecue is a nice milder rosemary that has a lovely upright growth. Its woody branch-like stems can be stripped and used as a barbecue skewer, releasing a lovely mild rosemary flavor in your meat and veggies. It grows into an attractive Christmas tree-like bush if left un-pinched.
Rosemary officinalis Prostratus is a creeping rosemary that will not disappoint. It is a vigorous variety that once it takes off it really is impressive. I like two or three in one 12 “pot to make a nice display. This variety will cascade and is also good in hanging baskets or growing over a rock wall. I like growing it in a basket close to my doorstep, so I have rosemary at my finger-tips all summer long. Its flavor is like the ‘Standard’ so this is not just pretty but also delicious!