Subject: Is Rosemary from the Evergreen Family?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Daniel Newman
Posted on: February 21, 2008

I have a question about rosemary! Now, can you tell me if rosemary is from the evergreen family?

No, it is not. Of course you mean the conifer family when you write "evergreen family". The conifers include spruces, pines, hemlocks, etc. You would never guess that rosemary belongs to the mint family, as do a lot of other important herbs such as lavender, thyme, sage, savory, basil, oregano and of course the mints. The family has several distinctive features: square or squarish stems and bilabiate (two lipped) flowers. And rosemary doesn’t produce cones like the conifers do.

There is a different usage of the world "evergreen". In the plant world it is used to describe plants that do not shed their leaves during one or more of the seasons. So most of the conifers are evergreen because they do not shed their leaves in the fall like other trees do, such as maple, oak, and birch. Rosemary is also evergreen in this sense because it does not shed its neddle-like leaves in fall or winter. In fact there are many plants that do not belong to the conifer family but are evergreen.

Back to Growing Herbs | Q & A Index

Copyright © 1997-2022 Otto Richter and Sons Limited. All rights reserved.