Rosemary plant belongs to a mint family (Labiatae). It is an evergreen bush with straight upward branches and long leaves. Rosemary flowers are colored violet, but sometimes rose or white flowers can also be met. These flowers are combined into inflorescences which are 10-12 millimeters long.
Rosemary genus includes several rosemary plants (which are Wild Rosemary, Marsh Rosemary, Moonwort and Garden Rosemary). Rosemary is originated from Mediterranean region, but it is now being cultivated in many different countries. Thanks to their qualities rosemary plants have been cultivated for a very long time.
In old times rosemary plants were used not only with medical purposes. They also had a Magic and Superstition meaning. Springs of rosemary plants served as a purifying agent in situations when mental clarity was necessary (people used them for important meetings and students put springs of rosemary plants on their bodies before the exams). The medical use of rosemary plants was also very wide - different extracts and decoction were used to treat headaches and stimulate blood circulation. Only much later people learned to extract rosemary essential oil, which is used till nowadays.
This rosemary essential oil contains such substances as tannin and resin. Most of the rosemary plants for medical purposes these days are being cultivated in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Tunisia. But rosemary plants are grown not only for rosemary essential oil - leaves and springs of rosemary plants are used in cookery.
Cookbooks include an enormous number of different rosemary recipes - it can be used in meat dishes, soups and sauces. Rosemary is used to flavor wines, oil and vinegar. You can also try to put some rosemary springs into your barbecue - that will give a wonderful flavor to meat.
But besides all the above said, rosemary is just a beautiful plant and it can be grown with decorative purpose. As long as rosemary plants are very easy to grow almost anyone can do it at home. Rosemary plants have nice flowers, which are usually flowering in late spring and can become an adornment of any garden. Rosemary plants prefer a light soil but sandy soils will do also.
If you are new to gardening and herbs growing, then you'd better start with small, nursery-grown plants, which you can buy in a special store or order trough the internet. You can also start with cuttings if you will - it is really hard to grow rosemary plants from seeds so using cuttings at first is probably the best choice. You can plant rosemary at any time, however, April would be the best time for that. And you can also grow rosemary in container as well. The thing you should keep in mind is that your rosemary plant needs regular and careful watering. It prefers sunny places, but it will withstand frosts. All kinds of rosemary plants are evergreen, so you can enjoy their beauty all the year round. What is also great about you rosemary plants is that you can clip leaves or sprigs anytime you want - that won't hurt the plant.